Minnesota Great Eight Lakes Fishing Report – January 1st, 2016


The bays have 6 to 8 inches of ice and are giving up some pike via angling and spearing in less than 9 feet. You’ll also find 6 to 8 inches of ice around Gull Reef, Spider Island, and areas adjacent to them. Some ATVs and snowmobiles are being used in these areas and walleye reports should improve as ice thickens throughout the main lake.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811


Ice fishing is in full swing, resorts have pulled rental houses, and fishing reports have been positive. Ice trails are marked for ATV and snowmobile travel and resorts are shuttling anglers out with light vehicles. Ice depths vary so stay on the marked trails and work through a resort. The Rainy River is iced over in most areas, but open in others so it’s not yet fishable. At the Northwest Angle, fish houses are out and good fishing is reported. There is a marked trail from Young’s Bay to Flag Island and to Oak Island. On the south shore, walleyes and saugers are hitting in 16 to 23 feet with many limits and trophy-caliber fish reported. 

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


The big lakes remained half open and half covered with skim ice early this week. With some snow on top of the ice, even most small lakes have less than 4 inches of ice and although some anglers have been walking out, caution is advised. Whether or not more lakes offer walkable ice this weekend will depend on how much snow hit the area early this week.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227


The mouth of Pike Bay and the McKinley Park area have 6 to 8 inches of ice and limited fishing action. Anglers also have been getting on Frazier Bay and Head-O-Lakes Bay, but where there’s snow cover, the ice-making process has been slow. A few walleyes have been coming off Indian Point in 15 feet.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430


Pike spearing continues to be good along many shorelines, especially from the river mouth and down the west shore. Reports indicate 8 to 10 inches of ice close to shore and about 8 inches farther out – the entire lake is ice-covered.

Lake Winnie Resort Association


Walker Bay has marginal ice with 2 to 3 inches in most areas, but some thicker ice close to shore. There is walkable ice off Pine Point, Trader’s Bay, and Trapper’s Landing, where some walleyes are being caught in 9 to 12 feet. There are some houses in a few bays where up to 8 inches of ice is reported.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250


Ice conditions have improved and the entire lake is ice-covered. Anglers are reporting 5 to 7 inches off Birch Point in Sand Bay, 5 inches in the Rainy Lake City area, and 4 to 7 inches in Black Bay. With the exception of a few pike hitting in shallow water, fishing action has been slow. Look for walleye activity to improve as more of the lake becomes accessible. 

Loon’s Nest (218) 286-5850


Ice depths are averaging 8 to 10 inches so ATVs and snowmobiles are being used and fish houses are being pulled. The walleye bite remains decent, especially during the mornings and evenings in 8 to 12 feet. Jigging spoons and dead sticks are both working with some flurries of activity during midday hours as well.  

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

Categories: Great Eight, Minnesota Fishing Reports

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