Statewide Minnesota Fishing Report – December 11th, 2015


Ice is very limited throughout the area with some bays and small lakes holding a thin layer of ice. The big lakes also remain open so there’s no ice-fishing options available at this point. Pheasant hunters have been reporting better success and there’s plenty of geese to be had in the area.

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


At best, you’ll find skim ice along the shorelines, in some bays, and on small lakes. The majority of lakes continue to be wide open.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297


A few of the small lakes have up to 4 inches of ice and some anglers have been walking on them, but it is not advised due to the continued warm weather this week. The majority of large lakes remained wide open.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596


Anglers have been walking on a few small lakes, but with the warm weather again this week, ice conditions are changing daily and not for the better. Extreme caution is advised on any lake at this point and open water still exists on the area’s big lakes.

Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781 


A limited number of small, shallow  lakes and bays have up to 6 inches of ice and anglers are walking on those. Although the area’s big lakes are mostly ice-covered, they are not thick enough to walk on. Ice depths haven’t improved much since last week.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636


A few small lakes and bays have up to 4 inches of ice and some anglers have been walking on them, but ice-fishing options remain limited. Boats were still being used on Gull Lake early this week since most of it remained ice-free.

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


The big lakes such as Cass and Pike Bay remained wide open early this week, but anglers are walking on some of the small lakes and bays with as much as 5 inches of ice reported. Crappies are being found suspended over 30 feet or more on Lake Andrusia and Wolf Lake. Spearing also has been decent in Dick’s Bay off Cass.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831


There isn’t much to report for ice or fishing and with another week of unseasonably warm weather, ice has been slow to develop. Anglers are waiting for cold air to arrive.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334


You could still drop a boat in most big lakes and anglers are taking advantage of it, catching walleyes and crappies on Serpent Lake and walleyes on the Mississippi River. While there is some foot traffic on a couple of small lakes the ice has actually deteriorated from last week so it’s not advised.

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


There has been foot traffic on several of the area’s small lakes with 3 to 4 inches of ice reported. But it has not improved at all since last week so extreme caution is advised on all lakes. Most big lakes remain wide open and anglers in boats continue to catch walleyes on Big Cormorant Lake in 20 to 30 feet.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248


While most lakes remain ice-covered, ice depths have not improved so fishing reports have been limited. The few anglers venturing out are finding about 3 inches of ice – the same as they did last week – so it’s not advised until it gets cold. Some boat fishermen were getting on Lake Superior and catching Kamloops not far off shore in the Duluth area.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094


The ice that’s been in place is limited and has not improved at all since last week. That means skim ice and a lot of open water throughout the area and an ice-fishing season that’s still on hold.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985


Although there is ice covering many of the small lakes, it’s not thick enough to walk on and most lakes of any size were wide open early this week. With some cold weather, look to those lakes that already have ice to be the first to offer foot-travel options.

The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744


Some people are walking on small lakes, but only 3 inches of ice is reported and it hasn’t thickened much since last week. The area’s big lakes remained wide open as of Tuesday morning.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191


Ice is limited to the shorelines and small bays on select lakes with most area lakes wide open. Even where ice did exist last week, most of it melted away, putting any thoughts of ice fishing on hold. Some anglers were fishing from shore on the Cannon River with limited success reported for walleyes.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341


Ice has started to form on a few lakes, but not enough to safely walk on, even farther north. Many lakes, those bigger bodies of water, remained partially open early this week.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280


You’ll find walkable ice at Sylvan Bay on the Mississippi River where sunfish are biting in 13 feet and crappies are being found suspended over 35 to 40 feet. Anglers also are fishing from boats on the river and catching quite a few walleyes. Generally, most small, shallow lakes north of this area have enough ice to walk on, but the big lakes remain ice-free. 

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281


The few fishermen who kept their boats out are catching quite a few walleyes on Big Birch Lake, Cedar Lake, and Swan Lake. There is no ice fishing taking place with only skim ice reported on some small lakes where ice does exist.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405


Ice is very limited even on the small lakes and the big lakes remain wide open. On those lakes and bays where ice does exist it has deteriorated since last week, so there are no ice-fishing options at this point.

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


There still isn’t much to report here due to a lack of ice. Although some ice has formed, it is not thick enough to walk on so nobody is advising travel on it. A few nights of cold weather could allow ice to thicken enough to allow foot travel on certain lakes.

Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168


There is a thin layer of ice on some of the small lakes, but the big lakes are wide open. Walleyes are being caught with a jig and minnow by anglers fishing from shore on the Blue Earth River. 

The Bobber Shop (507) 625-8228


A few guys continue to sneak out on 3 to 4 inches of ice on a few lakes, but with another week of warm weather it’s not recommended. You’ll still find open water on portions of the area’s bigger bodies of water as well.

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


Despite the warm weather, most lakes and sloughs, including Big Stone Lake, have remained ice-covered. Unfortunately, ice depths haven’t improved much since last week so there still aren’t any ice-fishing options. On the positive side, pheasant hunting has been good since the snow arrived. 

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480


The big lakes remain wide open, but some foot traffic has started on select small lakes with up to 4 inches of ice reported. While some ice fishing has started, it’s important to stick to the area’s small, shallow lakes at this point.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099


Walleyes and sauger are being caught below the dam on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River in 15 to 20 feet. Jigs tipped with minnows or plastics are working best. Some ice has formed in the back channels and bays, but the warm weather this week has deteriorated most of it.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334


Skim ice is about all you’ll find on area lakes, with just enough of it to prevent boats from being put in. Other accesses have re-opened so open-water fishing is an option for those that still have their boats out.

Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248


Anglers are walking on some small lakes and bays where up to 4 inches of ice is reported, but open water remains on the area’s big lakes. Crappies have started hitting on Lake Guerney and Fairy Lake is kicking out sunfish. 

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155


The limited ice fishing that is taking place continues to be close to shore on a few small lakes, but with the continued warmth, extreme caution is advised even on those lakes.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056


You’ll find up to 4 inches of ice on some of the small, shallow lakes and some limited fishing opportunities on them. But there’s still a lot of open water and “questionable” ice throughout the area.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239


Anglers continue to walk out on certain lakes with as much as 6 inches of ice reported on some lakes, but less on others. Ice depths have not improved since last week.

Lucky Seven General Store (218) 741-3617


Not much has changed from a week ago, which means very limited ice conditions and an abundance of open water on lakes throughout the area. Even the shallow, prairie lakes have marginal ice on them.

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


A few anglers have been walking on a couple of lakes, but it’s not advised. Certain lakes, such as Shetek, have opened up enough to again allow anglers to fish from shore and catch walleyes.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

Categories: Minnesota Fishing Reports, Statewide

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