Statewide Minnesota Fishing Report – December 4th, 2015

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Ice is limited to the shorelines, bays, and portions of some small lakes. For the most part, there was more open water than ice on area lakes early this week. It’s going to take some additional cold weather to get the ice-fishing season started here.

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255

ANNANDALE AREA

There’s more open water than ice on area lakes. It just hasn’t been cold enough for most lakes to completely cap with ice, which is good since measurable snow fell early this week. Some bays and shorelines have thin ice, but that’s all you’ll find.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE AREA

Anglers were beginning to walk out on several small lakes last weekend with up to 4 inches of ice reported in some spots. But several inches of wet, heavy snow on Monday might have put an end to that. Extreme caution is advised because of the snow cover where ice does exist. 

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BLACKDUCK AREA

The lakes are ice-covered with up to 5 inches reported on certain areas of some lakes, but thinner ice is present on others. A few anglers have started walking on some of the shallower lakes, but finding limited fishing success.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

Some lakes remain wide open and many of the small lakes had just about enough ice to walk on. But with up to 5 inches of heavy snow on those lakes that were capped, extreme caution is advised until colder weather arrives.

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

CASS LAKE AREA

A few small, shallow bays have up to 4 inches of ice, but fishing action has been limited. Areas of ice cover are reported on several big lakes with some open water also present early this week. 

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831

CHISAGO AREA   

Ice is slow to develop on the majority of lakes. Skim ice has formed on some shallow bays and along some shorelines, but nothing had taken hold early this week that was safe enough to walk on.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

A handful of anglers have started walking on the area’s small lakes with 3 to 4 inches of ice reported. Unfortunately, ice depths haven’t improved any since last weekend so caution is advised. You’ll still find open water on most larger lakes as well.

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

DETROIT LAKES AREA

Several small, shallow lakes had just enough ice to walk on early this week and there has been some limited ice-fishing activity taking place. But ice conditions remain “iffy” and extreme caution is advised this weekend due to the lack of cold weather. Open water could still be seen on most big lakes.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA   

Ice conditions are “sloppy” due to this week’s snow event. Prior to the snow, anglers checking ice depths reported about 3 inches on some lakes so with the warm weather and snow this week, walkable ice wasn’t an option.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST CENTRAL MN

Some ice has started to take hold in the area, but it is very limited. This week’s warm weather has slowed the ice-making process even more so until it gets cold, ice fishing is not advised.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

EMILY AREA 

The small lakes that froze earliest had 3 to 4 inches of ice on them before this week’s 4 inches of wet, heavy snow covered it. With the exception of limited skim ice in the bays, most big lakes are ice-free. With the recent weather conditions, ice fishing is not advised and won’t be until it gets cold. 

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191

FARIBAULT AREA

This area only received about 2 inches of snow, but where ice did exist the snow took care of most of it. With mostly open water throughout the area, a stretch of cold weather is needed before ice fishing becomes an option.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341

GRAND MARAIS AREA

With just a few nights of cold weather, ice has been slow to develop. Open water is still quite evident on the big lakes with nothing more than skim ice on the lakes up the Gunflint Trail; no ice-fishing options at this point.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

GRAND RAPIDS AREA 

Some foot travel and spearing have started on a few small lakes and bays in the area with 3 to 5 inches of ice reported where people are fishing. The big lakes remained open early this week and although you can find a spot to fish here, it’s important to stick to those spots that froze first.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

GREY EAGLE AREA

Most big lakes still have open water or limited skim ice, while some small lakes are ice-covered with snow on top. With the warm weather this week, ice fishing is not a safe option at this point.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

HACKENSACK AREA 

A limited number of anglers have been out checking ice depths and reporting 2 to 4 inches on the area’s small lakes and bays. With open water still evident on most large lakes, ice fishing was not a viable option early this week.

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

LAKE KABETOGAMA

Tom Cod Bay capped with ice late last week, but it’s thin, and not yet ready for foot travel. As you head east from Tom Cod near Grassy Islands, open water was still noticeable. As it cools down, look to the west end of the lake to offer the first fishable ice of the season since it is shallow and has less current.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121

MANKATO AREA

There’s nothing to report here as far as fishing or ice. Very limited ice exists and conditions won’t improve much this week with the warm weather. 

The Bobber Shop (507) 625-8228

McGREGOR AREA 

Ice has taken hold on some bays, small lakes, and along a few shorelines of the area’s larger lakes. It’s going to take at least one more stretch of cold weather before walkable ice is an option here.

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

MORA AREA

The lakes in this area are ice-covered and some anglers have started walking out on the small, shallow bodies of water. With fresh snow early this week and warm weather in the forecast, extreme caution is advised for any type of ice travel this weekend.

Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151

ORTONVILLE AREA

Ice depths varied from 1- to 4- inches, but with 8- to 10- inches of snow hitting the area on Monday, ice fishing is not an option. With warm weather predicted, the best bet is for the snow to melt and start from scratch.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

You’ll find up to 5 inches of ice on certain areas on some of the small lakes and some anglers had been walking out prior to this week’s snow. The big lakes remained open and several nights of cold temperatures should kick the ice-fishing season into high gear on those lakes that are already capped.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

PERHAM AREA

Some people had started walking on a few small, shallow bays, but 4 inches of wet snow might have ended those options until it cools down again. Most big lakes remained ice-free as of Tuesday morning.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

RED WING AREA

Fishing reports have been limited, but you’ll still catch walleyes and sauger below the dam in 15 to 20 feet on blade baits or a jig and minnow. Some panfish also are being caught off the docks in several bays and backwater areas. Snow is not an issue so accessing the river is easy.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

ROCHESTER AREA

This area received more rain than snow this week and you’ll find plenty of open water and only small areas with skim ice where ice does exist. A handful of anglers continued to fish from shore at Foster Arend Pond for rainbow trout with some success.

Hooked On Fishing (507) 282-4982

ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA  

The small lakes and bays have skim ice, but most lakes remain wide open. That’s good since up to 6 inches of heavy, wet snow hit this area on Monday.

Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Some of the area’s small lakes and bays had enough ice for foot travel last weekend, but after 6 inches of snow fell on Monday, that might no longer be an option. The big lakes remained open and extreme caution is advised for any type of ice travel this weekend.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA

Some of the area’s big lakes still had open water early this week and where ice had taken hold, there isn’t enough of it to think about walking on, especially after several inches of wet, heavy snow covered it on Monday.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056

STARBUCK AREA

The big lakes are ice-free, which was fortunate since 5 to 8 inches of snow fell here on Monday. Although some foot travel had started on the area’s small lakes, the snow likely had a negative impact on the ice so use extreme caution if you choose to venture out.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239

VIRGINIA AREA

Most small lakes had 4 to 6 inches of ice early this week and some anglers have started walking out on them. But with the warm weather, extreme caution is advised on any lake heading into this weekend. As of Tuesday morning, there was still open water on the area’s bigger bodies of water.

Lucky Seven General Store (218) 741-3617

WILLMAR AREA

It needs to get cold before ice fishing is an option here. The big lakes are open and even the shallow, prairie lakes only have a thin layer of ice on them – and that was before 4 to 6 inches of snow hit the area early this week.

Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Ice is very limited on area lakes and some of it disappeared with measurable snow this week. Up to 6 inches of snow was on the ground, which has done more to enthuse pheasant hunters than fishermen. Most pheasant-hunting reports continue to be favorable.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

Categories: Minnesota Fishing Reports, Statewide

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