Statewide Minnesota Fishing Report – March 11th, 2016
Crappies and sunfish are in 6 to 10 feet on Lake Mary, Lake Ida, Lake Darling, Smith Lake, and Lake Geneva. The west side of Reno Lake is producing crappies in 8 to 10 feet. The shorelines and accesses are deteriorating fast, so call ahead before venturing to this area by the weekend.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
There really isn’t much to report other than most lakes have started to pull away from shore. Although some fishing was still taking place early in the week, that could end soon, so use caution in this area.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
The shorelines have started to open, so walking or ATVs (depending on the lake) should remain travel options this weekend. You’ll find sunfish above the 10-foot weeds and crappies over 15 feet on West Battle Lake, Star Lake, and Fish Lake. Tullibee reports continue to be slow, but Lida Lake and Mollie Stark Lake should be worth looking at over 30 to 40 feet.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Perch reports continue to be very good on the 30- to 35-foot mud areas of Lake Bemidji. Hit Medicine Lake in 22 feet during the evening hours for crappies. Main-lake ice is good, but the accesses have started to get beat up so ATVs will probably be the best travel option by the weekend.
Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781
Crappies and sunfish are being caught during the evening hours in 15 to 20 feet on Gull Lake and Lake Pimushe. Look for crappies in 18 to 22 feet on Blackduck Lake, Island Lake, and Round Lake. Perch action has been best in 6 to 10 feet on Island and Blackduck. The shorelines on area lakes remained intact early this week.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
North Long Lake, Round Lake, and several other small lakes were producing sunfish in 5 to 12 feet and crappies in 10 to 20 feet early this week. But with the warm weather, those options might not exist by this weekend, so call ahead.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Perch are being caught in 6 to 8 feet on Pike Bay Lake and along Star Island at Cass Lake. Fishing pressure has dropped way off since last week and the shorelines are starting to get beat up, but getting on should still be an option this weekend.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Sunfish were being caught in 6 to 11 feet of water on lakes such as South Lindstrom, South Center, and Chisago. But rapidly deteriorating ice and access points might not allow foot travel by the weekend, so call before venturing out.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
You’ll find crappies during the evening hours on Bay Lake in 15 to 17 feet or 25 to 30 feet of water. Crappies and sunfish are hitting in 15 to 17 feet of water on Greer Lake, 10 feet on Lake Adney, and 8 to 12 feet on Horseshoe Lake. Rainbow trout remain active on Huntington Pit and Manuel Pit. Lakes should remain accessible by foot or ATV this weekend, but be sure to call ahead.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Ice fishing remained an option as of Tuesday, but it could be short-lived so call ahead this weekend. Lakes such as Sour, Floyd, Severson, and Melissa were giving up crappies and sunfish in 8 to 15 feet.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
With the snow melting off the lakes, they were pretty sloppy, but that should be soaked away by the weekend, allowing at least a few more days of ice fishing. Reports have been limited to some crappies and bluegills off Fish Lake in 12 to 14 feet. The nice weather has allowed shore anglers to cash in on some decent Kamloops action in the French River area of Lake Superior. Crawlers and waxworms were being used by most people.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
The ice that remains is black and the shorelines on all lakes are pulled away far enough to prevent any ice fishing. There is some open-water action being reported for catfish on the Mississippi River.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985
The snow has melted away on area lakes so there was quite a bit of water on top of the ice early in the week. That should soak away by the weekend and the shorelines are intact enough to allow ATV travel. Some lake trout are being caught over 30 feet at Burntside Lake and over 35 to 70 feet on Snowbank Lake.
The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744
Eagle Lake is giving up sunfish in 22 to 24 feet and Wood’s Bay on Roosevelt Lake is kicking out crappies over 35 feet. Look to Doloney Lake for crappies during low-light periods in 15 feet and Goodrich Lake is worth hitting for sunfish in 12 feet.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
The ice that remains is soft, black, and being pushed with the wind. By this weekend, there’s a good chance many lakes could be ice-free – about three weeks ahead of schedule.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
The anglers hitting the ice early this week did comment that it’s getting soft and the shorelines have started to pull away. It looks like the winter fishing season has ended in this area.
Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
The shorelines and access areas were in good shape early this week so ice fishing should remain an option at least through this weekend, but lighter travel options are suggested. Bluegills continue to be caught on Bass Lake in 7 to 15 feet. Hit Bowstring Lake in 20 to 22 feet or Big Cutfoot Sioux Lake in 25 to 35 feet for crappies. Little Cutfoot Sioux Lake is worth noting for crappies and sunfish in 18 to 20 feet, while Big Splithand Lake and Lake Pokegama are giving up a mixed bag of panfish in 16 to 24 feet.
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281
Most shorelines remained in good shape early this week, but with the wind and warm weather since Tuesday it could change fast so caution is advised. Crappie and sunfish were being found to some extent on lakes such as Pleasant, Child, Ox Yoke, Birch, and Five Point.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
MADISON LAKE AREA
The ice-fishing season has come to an end with open shorelines on area lakes. Some panfish have started being caught by anglers fishing from shore at the inlets and outlets of select lakes with moving water.
White’s Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
The shorelines are changing fast so walking might be the only option this weekend. Look for sunfish in 6 to 8 feet on Fish Lake or crappies in 8 to 10 feet at Knife Lake.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
Ice fishing is no longer an option in this area due to poor main-lake ice, open shorelines, and deteriorating accesses.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Look for bluegills on Fish Hook Lake in 10 to 14 feet or the Crow Wing Chain of Lakes in 12 to 14 feet. Big Mantrap Lake and the Crow Wing Chain are producing crappies over 30 feet, as is Fish Hook in 14 to 16 feet.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
RED WING AREA
The nice weather has allowed anglers in boats to hit the Mississippi River in force. Walleyes and saugers are being caught on minnows and jigs in 15 feet during the day. The bite for both has been better along the shorelines during the mornings and evenings.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
The ice-fishing season has pretty much come to an end as the shorelines have pulled away and small pockets of open water are being seen on some lakes. There’s a good chance that open-water fishing could start within the next week to 10 days.
Hooked On Fishing (507) 282-4982
ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA
The shorelines were opening fast so finding a lake to get on this weekend might be difficult. At best, plan on walking and calling ahead for up-to-the-minute lake conditions.
Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Maple Lake and Smith Lake are producing sunfish in 10 to 12 feet, while the north end of Lake Osakis is giving up sunfish on shrimp in 20 to 23 feet; you’ll find crappies mixed in. Fairy Lake is a safe bet for sunfish above the 9-foot weeds, as is Lake Villard in 9 to 12 feet. You’ll find sunfish on Lilly Lake in 18 to 20 feet and Four Mile Bar on Osakis continues to kick out crappies over 40 feet or more.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
Crappies are hitting after dark on Long Lake and Green Prairie Lake is giving up crappies and sunfish. Look to Lake Alexander for crappies in 12 to 18 feet and anglers are reporting that ice conditions are deteriorating quickly on most lakes.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
A handful of fishermen continued to walk on the Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska early this week for sunfish with marginal success. That might not be an option by this weekend, so call ahead for up-to-the-minute ice conditions.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
Ice conditions were in pretty good shape early this week, but with continued warm weather that could change by this weekend, so call in advance. Trout action has been slow and the crappies being caught on area lakes have been small.
Lucky Seven General Store (218) 741-3617
With the shorelines and accesses starting to pull away and getting busted open, fishing pressure has been light. Make sure to call heading into this weekend since ice conditions are deteriorating quickly.
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097
A few anglers were walking on a couple lakes early this week, but the shorelines are pulling away. Ice-fishing options could be limited by this weekend, so call ahead.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880