MInnesota Great Eight Lakes Fishing Report – December 18th, 2015


Ice fishing still isn’t an option with the main lake wide open and very limited ice in the bays – the ice that did exist actually deteriorated this week. If it gets cold enough, some limited ice-fishing options could exist by the weekend, but call ahead.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430


The main lake and river are still open, but single-digit temperatures were expected this week. Fishing on the lake had been excellent via boat, but that’s no longer an option due to ice chunks blocking navigation  routes. There seems to be a big pile of fish just off Pine Island and in other parts of the basin. Some bays have 2 to 5 inches of ice. Boats were being used on the Rainy River as of Monday with numbers and quality walleyes being caught on minnows and jigs. At the Northwest Angle, 6 to 8 inches of ice has taken hold on the inlet with 2 to 6 inches reported in Young’s Bay. Some resorts might start fishing at the Angle this weekend, but not on their normal spots.

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


The very limited ice that did exist along the shorelines and in some channels was gone early this week. A quick shot of cold air will allow ice to form, but it might be a while before walking on it is an option.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227


Open water was still evident on the main lake and the ice that had taken hold in the bays didn’t get much thicker since last week. With cold air expected to arrive this week, some limited ice fishing could start in the bays soon.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430


Ice conditions have deteriorated a lot since last week due to continued warm weather and strong winds. The lake was nearly completely open as of earlier this week, but colder weather could allow some “close-to-shore” fishing by next week.

Lake Winnie Resort Association


The small bays have remained ice-covered, but nobody has been fishing on them as of yet. Most of the main lake and Walker Bay had white caps on them Tuesday morning. The area’s small lakes also have remained capped, so look for them to support foot traffic from anglers after the next cold snap.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250


Although some bays have thin ice, this week’s wind chewed up the main-lake ice that had taken hold. A few anglers were fishing from boats on the Rainy River last weekend.

Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850


You really need to watch for some cracks that have developed, but fishable ice still exists with 6 inches pretty common in the areas in which people are fishing. The walleye bite has been very good, but you need to check with a resort or access point before just venturing on the lake this weekend.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

Categories: Great Eight, Minnesota Fishing Reports

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