Crappies and sunfish continue to hit in shallow water, with the best bite taking place during the afternoon and evening hours when water temperatures are warmest. Look to the bays on Lake Carlos, Oscar Lake, Lake Ida, Lake Miltona, Lake Le Homme Dieu, and Pocket Lake for better numbers of fish.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
The water has warmed quite a bit over the past week and that’s improved the panfish bite in most shallow bays, harbors, and around docks. Lakes worth hitting this week include Clearwater, Granite, Cedar, Pleasant, Sugar, Sylvia, and John.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
Sunfish are being found in the 5- to 8-foot weeds on Elbow Lake, Mollie Stark Lake, Wall Lake, Ten Mile Lake, and in the bays on Clitherall Lake. Crappies are biting best during the evening hours in 4 to 6 feet on Wall, Elbow, Mollie Stark, Blanche Lake, and Fish Lake.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
The local panfish bite has improved since last week in shallow water. Most lakes are now giving up crappies and sunfish in less than 6 feet, highlighted by a good sunfish and crappie bite on Portage Lake and Turtle River Lake.
Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781
Crappie action has picked up in shallow water. Some of the best reports are coming off Gilstead Lake, Lake Beltrami, Gull Lake, and Rabideau Lake with minnows or plastics working best in less than 6 feet.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
Sunfish and crappies are being caught in 2 to 6 feet in the small bays on Gull Lake, Pelican Lake, Round Lake, North Long Lake, Nisswa Lake, and Whitefish Lake. For the most part, panfish have started hitting in shallow water on most lakes during the afternoon and evening hours.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
The bays and shorelines on most lakes are now holding sunfish and crappies in 2 to 4 feet with minnows and artifical baits both producing fish. Just about every lake is worth hitting, but Kitchi, Big Wolf, Andrusia, and Allen’s Bay on Cass are good starting spots. Perch also remain active in 6 to 8 feet on Pike Bay Lake and Cass.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Crappies and sunfish are now being found in 4 to 6 feet on most lakes including North Center, South Center, Green, Chisago, and South Lindstrom. Small jigs tipped with minnows, waxworms, small leeches, or plastics are working best.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
You can pretty much pick a lake at this point and catch crappies and sunfish in 3 to 5 feet. If they have shallow reeds, the crappie bite has been even better. Lakes such as Clearwater, Upper Dean, Serpent, and Little Rabbit are good starting spots, but again, most lakes are producing panfish.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
Panfish action has improved in less than 6 feet; most lakes are now giving up sunfish and crappies on small jigs tipped with minnows or plastics. Look to Little Pelican Lake, Big Detroit Lake, Lake Melissa, Upper Cormorant Lake, Severson Lake, and Lake Sallie as spots for better numbers of fish.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
Crappies and bluegills continue to hit minnows around the docks and other shallow structure at Fish Lake. On Whiteface Reservoir, crappies are being caught in less than 10 feet of water and Boulder Lake is producing crappies in 5 to 8 feet of water. The Minnesota and Wisconsin sides of Lake Superior both are kicking out king salmon, coho salmon, and lake trout. Trolling stickbaits near the surface down to about 30 feet has been productive not too far off the shoreline.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Catfish are being caught with nightcrawlers or cut sucker minnows in the deeper holes throughout the Mississippi River. Sunfish have been tough to find, but crappies are hitting in shallow water at Blue Lake and Green Lake.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop
Crappie anglers have just started hitting a few of those traditional spring spots, but success has been limited so far. Lakes that are worth checking this weekend in shallow water include Grassy, Low, Bald Eagle, and Fall.
The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744
Crappies and sunfish are being caught in 6 to 8 feet on Lake Emily and off the fishing pier and island area on Ruth Lake. Look to Wood’s Bay on Roosevelt Lake for crappies in 6 feet. Minnows, worms, and plastics are producing fish.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
You’ll find crappies in 8 to 10 feet during the day and as shallow as 4 feet in the late afternoon and evening hours. Hall Lake, Budd Lake, Lake Sissiton, George Lake, and Amber Lake are all producing fish again this week. A few walleyes continue to be caught with minnows or crankbaits along the shoreline of Tuttle Lake on the Minnesota/Iowa border.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
The docks around Lake Mazaska are holding crappies and sunfish. Look to the shallow rocks and docks on Cannon Lake for crappies and Hunt Lake is producing crappies and sunfish in deeper water. On Cedar Lake, crappies are being found in any shallow, shaded area.
Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341
GRAND MARAIS AREA
The ice has been out three to eight days depending on the lake, so everything is line for a good start to the walleye season. Steelhead fishermen have been finding success with spawn sacs on the Brule River, Cascade River, and Kadunce River this week.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
The bays and harbors on most lakes are now holding crappies and sunfish. Lakes such as Pokegama, Jay Gould, Little Moose, Big Cutfoot, Little Cutfoot, and Big Splithand among others are producing panfish.
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281
GREY EAGLE AREA
Crappies and sunfish are being found in the shallow bays, channels, and shorelines on most lakes. Small jigs tipped with minnows, waxworms, plastics, or small leeches are producing fish. Look to Mound Lake, Big Birch Lake, and Lake Osakis as good places to start.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Crappies are hitting on most lakes, but some are suspended over deep water and others are close to shore, in bays, or boat harbors in less than 5 feet. Woman Lake, Birch Lake, Pleasant Lake, and Ten Mile Lake are good starting spots, but there are plenty of other lakes producing panfish as well.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
Minnows and plastics are producing crappies in the shallow bays of Side Lake and Echo Lake during the afternoon and evening. Bluegill reports have improved in shallow water at Long Ear Lake.
Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168
The lack of rainfall has caused a low-water situation, but after last year’s high water, most docks and accesses should be in good shape. On Lake Kabetogama, boat ramps at the VNP visitor centers and Woodenfrog State Campground are useable, and some resort ramps might be, but check them all before launching. Many docks on Kabetogama can be used for launching, but not many harbors can be used for docking boats with current water levels. The water is warming nicely, which means live bait and crankbaits should produce walleyes and northern pike on the opener in less than 15 feet.
Gateway Store (218) 875-2121
Crappies remain active in the shallow bays of Big Jefferson Lake, Lake Washington, and German Lake. There’s also some evening crappie action at the Buckmaster Bridge on Madison Lake with minnows.
The Bobber Shop (507) 625-8228
Crappies and some keeping-sized perch are being caught around the docks of Lake Minnewawa. Look to the shallow shorelines and docks of Big Sandy Lake, Aitkin Lake, and Rat Lake for crappies during the evening hours – small leeches and minnows are working best on a jig.
Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits (218) 426-3382
Crappies are now set up in the shallow bays of most lakes and the majority of them are being caught with jigs and minnows in 2 to 5 feet. Little Maple Lake, Little Pulaski Lake, and Briggs Lake among others are producing fish.
Monticello Bait & Tackle (763) 295-1187
The bays on Knife Lake are producing crappies in 3 to 5 feet and Fish Lake is giving up sunfish and crappies in 3 to 6 feet. You’ll also find sunfish and crappies at the Ann River bridge and there are catfish being caught here at night.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
Trolling or casting crankbaits on the north end of Big Stone Lake has produced walleyes in 4 to 6 feet. The best stretch has been from the Elk Farm up to the cattails during low-light periods. Walleyes also are being caught on Big Stone at night with slip bobbers and leeches off most docks. On Lake Traverse, the Skunk Island area is kicking out walleyes in shallow water.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Anglers fishing from shore on Long Lake continue to catch crappies. The shallow bays on Potato Lake, Fish Hook Lake, Big Mantrap Lake, and the Crow Wing Chain are also kicking out crappies. Bluegills are being found in slightly deeper water and around weeds, but they should start moving shallow on most lakes as well.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
You can pretty much pick a lake in this area and now find crappies and sunfish in 2 to 6 feet. Consistent reports are coming off Buchanan Lake, Rush Lake, Big Pine Lake, Little Pine Lake, Little McDonald Lake, Big McDonald Lake, and Toad Lake.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
PINE CITY AREA
Crappies and a few sunfish are in the shallow bays of Cross Lake, Knife Lake, and Lake Pokegama. The bite has been best during the late afternoon and evening. Crawlers or cut sucker minnows are turning catfish in the deeper pockets of the Snake River.
Tall Tales Bait & Tackle (320) 629-8995
RED WING AREA
Working leadcore and crankbaits in the main channel, 18 to 22 feet, has been best for walleyes and sauger on the north end of Lake Pepin and Head of the Lakes area. Hit the backwaters (where deep enough water exists) for crappies and crawlers are producing channel catfish on the edges of the deep holes throughout this stretch of the Mississippi River.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
Work the 8- to 10-foot brush piles on Lake Zumbro or 5 to 8 feet on Willow Creek Reservoir for crappies. Foster Arend Pond continues to produce rainbow trout for shore anglers.
Hooked on Fishing (507) 282-4982
ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA
The bays and shorelines on Rice Lake, Lake Koronis, Cedar Island Lake, and Horseshoe Lake are giving up sunfish and crappies. The best bite has been later in the day when water temperatures rise.
Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Panfish action has been very consistent in shallow water throughout the area. Just about every bay on every lake is producing sunfish and crappies in 3 to 6 feet. Jigs tipped with minnows, small leeches, plastics, or waxworms are all working.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
The afternoon and evening hours have been best for panfish on the outside of most weedlines or in the bays over 2 to 4 feet. Look to Green Prairie Lake, Pierz Lake, Fish Trap Lake, Lake Alexander, and Beauty Lake for the most consistent sunfish and crappie action.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
The Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska is giving up crappies and sunfish in 5 to 7 feet. Better areas this week have been in front of the Lakeside Ballroom or near Fish Hatchery Bay.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
There’s been more anglers trying for crappies this past week, but most haven’t offered much in the way of good reports. Look to the small, shallow bays on area lakes to hold panfish soon.
Lucky Seven General Store (218) 741-3617
The lagoons on Lake Tetonka are producing crappies, with minnows producing bigger fish. You’ll also find crappies around the Warsaw Bridge on the Cannon Lake Chain and in less than 5 feet on Lake Francis.
Axel’s Tackle Box (507) 362-4444
The area crappie bite exploded over the past week with most lakes now holding fish in shallow water. Lakes such as Andrew, Eagle, Florida, Norway/Games, Nest, Willmar/Foot, Diamond, George, Henderson, Elkhorn, and the north side of Green are all providing steady crappie action in 2 to 6 feet.
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097
You’ll find crappies in shallow water near the county park on Lake Yankton. The Redwood River in Camden State Park continues to produce rainbow trout on spinners or nightcrawlers. The rock piles on Lake Hendricks along the Minnesota-South Dakota border is producing walleyes. Most are being caught on the rock piles with slip bobbers and leeches during the evening.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880
A jig and minnow continues to work best for walleyes on the Mississippi River; work the deep holes, below dams, or main river channel. The backwaters and shallow shorelines with vegetation are holding sunfish and trout fishing continues to be very good on most streams in the Whitewater area.
West End Bait (507) 452-6241