Statewide Minnesota Fishing Report – March 4th, 2016


Hit Lake Darling and Lake Le Homme Dieu for crappies in 28 to 32 feet and sunfish in 6 to 12 feet. Lake Mary is giving up sunfish and crappies in 8 feet, while Betsy Ross Bay on Lake Ida is providing a mixed bag of panfish in 6 to 15 feet. 

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle

(320) 763-3255


Look for suspended crappies over 18 to 25 feet or tight to the bottom in 8 to 10 feet on lakes such as Pleasant, Clearwater, Indian, John, Granite, and Rock. Sunfish action has been limited to a few fish off John in 10 to 12 feet.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297


Look for crappies and sunfish in 15 to 20 feet of water on Star Lake, Rush Lake, and West Battle Lake; the mornings and evenings have been best. Tullibee anglers are finding some suspended fish over 30 to 35 feet of water at Pickeral Lake, Mollie Stark Lake, and Clitherall Lake.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596


The perch bite is strong on Lake Bemidji over the 30-foot mud areas; stay on the move and you’ll put together a batch of bigger fish. Turtle River Lake is giving up sunfish, near the islands, in 20 to 22 feet and most have been suspended. Look for crappies on Wolf Lake during the evening hours over 30 to 32 feet. 

Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781 


Bluegills and crappies remain active over 15 to 20 feet of water on Gull Lake and Lake Pimushe. Perch and crappies are hitting in 6 to 10 feet or on the 20- to 28-foot mud of Blackduck Lake, Island Lake, and Round Lake.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636


Look for suspended crappies on Lake Margaret, Round Lake, and the south end of Gull Lake in 15 to 28 feet. The north end of Gull is giving up tullibees over deep water and sunfish are hitting on Nisswa Lake, Cullen Lake, and North Long Lake in 6 to 12 feet.

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


Perch are being found in 30 to 32 feet on Cass Lake or in shallower water around Cedar Island and Star Island. On Pike Bay Lake, perch are hitting on the 30-foot mud. Look for crappies on Kitchi Lake, Lower Sucker Lake, and Grace Lake in 12 to 20 feet. Grace also is producing bluegills in 12 to 17 feet.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831


Sunfish and crappies continue to be caught in 6 to 12 feet of water at Chisago Lake, South Center Lake, and Green Lake. The bite has been best early and late each day and start using caution on many lakes, especially if it warms up again this weekend.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334


East Rabbit Lake is producing sunfish in 17 to 25 feet of water, while Milford Lake is giving up sunfish and some crappies in 14 to 22 feet. For the most part, crappie action has been strong throughout the area, highlighted by better numbers of good-sized fish on Bay Lake, Nokay Lake, and Cedar Lake in 30 feet. Small spoons are turning brook trout on Snowshoe Pit in 5 to 15 feet and you’ll find rainbow trout tight to shore in 6 to 10 feet or suspended over 100 feet or more on Huntington Pit and Manuel Pit.

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


Crappies and sunfish continue to be scattered between 8 and 20 feet of water on Pelican Lake, Upper Cormorant Lake, Deadshot Bay, and Floyd Lake. Some tullibees have been showing up suspended over deep water on Long Lake and Loon Lake near Vergas. Overall, there has been fewer people fishing over the past week.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248


A few crappies are being caught on Fish Lake and Caribou Lake in 14 to 16 feet. Look for bluegills in 10 feet on Fish as well. The Kamloops bite is picking up in the French River and Stoney Point areas of Lake Superior. Anglers are fishing from shore with crawlers or waxworms on Looper Bugs for the majority of their fish, which includes some coho salmon. 

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094


Ice conditions have deteriorated quickly in the area, so walking out is now the best option on area lakes. Look to Blue Lake and Green Lake for crappies and sunfish in 14 to 17 feet of water. Anglers fishing from shore on the Mississippi River are catching catfish on nightcrawlers and cut bait.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985


A few lake trout are being caught on Snowbank Lake about 15 feet down over 30 to 50 feet of water. Anglers fishing with sucker minnows, tube jigs, or ciscoes have done best. The slush, which was quite evident on most lakes, has re-frozen, allowing better travel with snowmobiles and ATVs, but the ice is now rough.

The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744


Crappies are hitting minnows and glow jigs in 15 to 18 feet of water on Lawrence Lake during the morning hours. Look to the island area on Ruth Lake for sunfish in 16 to 18 feet of water and the northwest end of Lake Washburn is producing crappies in 16 to 18 feet of water. 

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191


Walking and light ATVs are the best means of transportation as many channel areas and shorelines have deteriorated. Fishing action has been limited to some crappies off Budd Lake in 14 to 16 feet, crappies and perch at Hall Lake in 14 to 18 feet, or some crappies and sunfish on the north side of Lake Sissiton in 12 to 15 feet.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225


Smelt, ciscoes, and shiner minnows are producing lake trout on Caribou Lake and Canisteo Pit. Big Splithand Lake and Tioga Bay on Lake Pokegama are giving up crappies and sunfish in 20 to 24 feet of water, while Bowstring Lake is kicking out perch and crappies over 20 feet of water. Look to Big Cutfoot Sioux Lake for crappies in 25 to 35 feet of water and Little Cutfoot Sioux for a mixed bag of panfish in 18 to 20 feet of water. Bluegill action remains strong on Bass Lake in 7 to 15 feet.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281


Crappies and a few sunfish are being caught in 12 to 14 feet on Pleasant Lake, Birch Lake, Ox Yoke Lake, Woman Lake, and in Long Bay on Ten Mile Lake. The early morning and evening hours have been best and anglers finding the most action are drilling a lot of holes and moving.

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


Although the walleye season is now closed on Lake Kabetogama, it remains open on Namakan Lake. The bite has been slow and anglers are starting to look for crappies and perch with limited success. The ice road remains open and despite some snow melt, snowmobile trails still have a good base.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121


Look for crappies in 18 to 20 feet of water around Second and Third points on Lake Washington. Baker’s Bay and the Grassy Island areas on Washington are producing sunfish in 10 to 12 feet of water. Cow Bar in the east bay of Madison Lake is producing crappies and sunfish in 6 to 8 feet of water, Big Jefferson Lake is producing sunfish in 18 to 20 feet, and Duck Lake is giving up crappies in 10 to 14 feet. Due to deteriorating shorelines, foot travel is now the best option.

White’s Corner Bait (507) 243-4464


Although main-lake ice conditions continue to be good, most access points on Big Stone Lake are getting beat up. ATVs and portable shelters will be the only option by this weekend. The perch bite has been spotty with some fish being caught in the shallow weeds around Sodak. Crappies and bluegills are being caught in 13 feet from Schmidt’s Landing to Windmill Reef.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480


The Crow Wing Chain remains the best option for bluegills in the area in 8 to 14 feet of water, while Fish Hook Lake is producing crappies along the 16- to 18-foot weed edges. On Big Mantrap Lake, crappies are being found suspended over 30 feet during low-light periods and hit Eagle Lake for a few bluegills in 14 feet.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099


Jigs tipped with plastics or minnows are turning walleyes and sauger on the Mississippi River. The best area this week has been from the dam down to Everett’s Resort in 18 to 22 feet of water during the day and along the shorelines early and late each day. Ice-fishing options have come to an end over the past week.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334


Ice fishing has started to wind down as ice conditions have deteriorated quickly. The shorelines have started to pull away, making it difficult to get on many lakes and Lake Zumbro has some spots with open water. Extreme caution is advised on all lakes in this area.

Hooked On Fishing (507) 282-4982


Crappies are hitting behind the islands on Lake Koronis in 18 to 22 feet and Rice Lake in 22 to 25 feet of water. Look for sunfish on Goodner Lake, Pearl Lake, Becker Lake, and Schneider Lake in 7 to 12 feet. Long Lake and Clear Lake are giving up crappies and sunfish in 10 to 12 feet of water.

Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248


Look in the 8- to 12-foot weeds of  Maple Lake, Smith Lake, Fairy Lake, and Lake Villard for sunfish. The north end of Lake Osakis is giving up sunfish and crappies over 20 to 23 feet of water early in the morning. Fishermen fishing with grass shrimp have done best. There’s also an evening crappie bite on Osakis from Four Mile Bar to Battle Point in 40 feet and west of Diamond Point on Sauk Lake in 40 to 42 feet after dark.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155


Panfish action has been pretty slow, although Green Prairie Lake is producing smaller crappies in 10 to 12 feet. Platte/Sullivan Lake is giving up some sunfish in about 6 feet, while the west end of Rush Lake is kicking out crappies and sunfish in 10 feet.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056


The Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska is producing a few crappies after dark in 15 feet, but for the most part, it’s been slow. Many of the accesses have started deteriorating so ATVs are probably the best means of travel.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239


Ice-fishing options are pretty much done in this area. The shorelines have started to open and most main-lake ice areas are black and rotten. The only anglers out have been on water so it’s been limited.

Axel’s Tackle Box (507) 362-4444


The number of people fishing has been very limited. A handful of anglers continue to look for panfish on lakes such as Diamond, Eagle, Willmar/Foot, and Green, but numbers of crappies and sunfish have been tough to find.

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


Ice conditions are getting poor, the shorelines have started to pull away on many lakes, and most small lakes and ponds now have black, rotten ice on them. If you go, plan on walking out by this weekend. The only reports worth noting are coming off Island Lake and Lake Shakaton for perch in 4 to 6 feet, but those might not be an option by this weekend due to the ice.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

Categories: MInnesota Fishing Reports, Minnesota Fishing Reports, Statewide

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