Statewide Minnesota Fishing Report – March 25th, 2016
Twin Cities Metro
The ice that remains is floating and limited, and many small lakes are now ice-free. Fishing reports have been limited to a few crappies being caught by anglers fishing from shore in some of the shallow lagoons off main-lake areas. Warmer water will quickly improve the panfish action.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle
The lakes are wide open, so start looking to the shallow bays, channels, and boat harbors on area lakes for crappies. Water temperatures remain low, so it might take several days of warm weather to drive these fish into their traditional spring spots.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
The ice deteriorated fast with the warm weather earlier this month, but the ice-out process has slowed with the recent cool-down. The shorelines are pulled away and some lakes such as Blanche are already ice-free, so expect others to follow suit soon. The ice that remains is floating and getting chewed up.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Anglers have been restricted to walking-only on the few lakes being fished. The shoreline breaks on Lake Bemidji continue to produce perch, and there have been sunfish and crappies coming out of Little Turtle Lake in 18 to 25 feet. This will likely be the last weekend of ice fishing due to deteriorating shorelines and main-lake ice conditions.
Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781
Most accesses are holding up and although some main-lake ice has been lost, 14 inches was pretty common early this week. Panfish anglers should be able to by this weekend get to fish on area lakes, but call before venturing out for up-to-the-minute ice and shoreline conditions.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
There’s too much ice to get a boat in and not enough to walk on. The shorelines have pulled away, and most of the ice that remains is floating. Some anglers have started fishing on piers or in channels and ditches with poor crappie-fishing success. Look to these areas and those small lakes that open first to provide the first open-water panfish bite of the season.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/
Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
There’s still a lot of ice on most lakes, but the shorelines have started to open, and the ice that remains doesn’t look the best. For the most part, anglers appear to be staying off area lakes due to deteriorating ice conditions.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Some bluegills, not huge numbers, are being found in 3 to 7 feet on Chisago Lake, South Center Lake, South Lindstrom Lake, and Green Lake. Most anglers are commenting that water temperatures are still too low to push the crappies shallow, but that should happen soon if it warms up.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
The ice that remains on many lakes is floating, and the shorelines on all lakes have now pulled away to end the ice-fishing season. With a couple of warm and windy days, all area lakes could be ice-free.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle
DETROIT LAKES AREA
There’s quite a bit of ice on most lakes, but it is being pushed with the wind. In fact, you could probably drop a boat in a few lakes already, so open-water fishing isn’t that far off.
Quality Bait and Tackle
EAST CENTRAL MN
The ice is gone, and a few reports have started to come in regarding open-water panfish. Look to Little Elk Lake for sunfish, Blue Lake for crappies, and Fremont Lake for a mixed bag of panfish. These fish seem to be moving in out of the shallow water as air and water temperatures fluctuate.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop
As of Tuesday morning, you could drive a snowmobile or ATV on area lakes, and that likely will be the case through this weekend. Unfortunately, fishing reports have been limited to a few anglers on Burntside Lake and Snowbank Lake looking for lake trout with minimal success. But if you wanted to fish this weekend, this is one area where it should be an option.
The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744
Most lakes still have ice on them, but it’s rotten and the shorelines have popped loose throughout the area, ending the season. Anglers are waiting for warm weather to return and open-water panfish action to begin.
Redding Sports and Spirits
Water temperatures remain low, and that’s limiting the open-water panfish bite. A few crappies have been caught at the water treatment plant on Budd Lake, and walleyes are hitting at Tuttle Lake on the Minnesota/Iowa border.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
The ice is gone, but cool weather has limited fishing action and kept water temperatures from climbing. The only bite worth noting is coming from the Warsaw Bridge area on the west end of Cannon Lake for perch and a few crappies.
Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341
GRAND MARAIS AREA
There shouldn’t be any problem finding a lake to fish on this weekend, as most shorelines and main-lake ice conditions remain good. With more than 12 inches of new snow on the ground, you could drive a snowmobile on and to most of them. Walleyes are being caught in 6 feet on South Fowl Lake or in 25 feet on Lake Saganaga and Seagull Lake. Hit Trout Lake for rainbow trout in 15 to 20 feet or for lake trout over 40 feet. Greenwood Lake also is giving up lake trout on spoons over 30 to 40 feet.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
Ice conditions vary from lake to lake, but most remain favorable for walking and should through this weekend, but call ahead. Lakes with moving water should be avoided; some shorelines with excessive use are beat up, but others have remained intact.
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281
GREY EAGLE AREA
Generally, the bigger lakes were half ice-covered and half open early this week, while the small, shallow lakes are ice-free. The ice that remains is floating, and any significant wind throughout the week could take care of the rest of it. There have been some suckers caught from area rivers on nightcrawlers.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
MADISON LAKE AREA
The lakes are wide open, but the cooler weather has limited the number of fishermen going out and the water from warming enough to drive panfish shallow on area lakes. Once the weather warms, look to the Geldner’s Sawmill area on German Lake or the shallows of Duck Lake for crappies.
White’s Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
Early this week, most lakes still had some ice on them. The shoreline ice is gone, and the ice that remains is floating so it’s likely it won’t take long for the wind to chew up what’s left.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop
Last weekend, the only ice that remained was on the south end of Big Stone Lake, and that was minimal. By the time you’re reading this, the entire area should be ice-free.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
A few of the small lakes still had anglers on them early in the week and those shorelines were holding up. But that could change by the weekend, so call ahead. The area’s bigger bodies of water are no longer approachable due to poor ice and deteriorated shorelines.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors
Several lakes are already ice-free, others have spots of floating ice, and that’s expected to be eliminated within the next week. There hasn’t been any open-water action reported, but the shallows should start holding panfish as soon water temperatures climb a bit.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Anglers are reporting decent action on the Mississippi River, with an even split between the number of walleyes and sauger caught; several large walleyes are caught daily, as well. Blade baits or a jig and minnow combination is working best along the river channel edges in 15 to 20 feet.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
Anglers fishing from shore at Foster Arend Pond continue to catch rainbow trout, and the Wilcox area of the Mississippi River is giving up perch in 6 to 10 feet. Even though the ice has been gone for more than a week, crappie reports have been slow. The water needs to warm a bit for the shallow panfish bite to kick in; early this week lakes were at 43 to 45 degrees.
Hooked On Fishing (507) 282-4982
ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA
The ice is gone from area lakes, but it’s just been too cold to really drive any numbers of panfish into their usual spring locations. As soon as water temperatures climb, look to the shallow bays, channels, culverts, and bridges to start producing crappies and sunfish.
Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248
SAUK CENTRE AREA
With just a couple of exceptions, area lakes are ice-free. The wind was expected to chew up the ice that remained on lakes by this weekend, but water temperatures are too low to think about finding panfish in shallow water.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
The ice is off all area lakes, but the crappie bite has been slow to develop, likely due to cool water. Fish Hatchery Bay on the Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska has started giving up a few crappies in 6 to 8 feet. Look for Starbuck Marina to follow suit.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle
The cool weather has prevented the crappies from moving shallow on most lakes despite the fact that the lakes have been ice-free for more than two weeks. Look to the lagoons on Lake Tetonka for a few sunfish right now, but the panfish bite will get better as soon as the water warms.
Axel’s Tackle Box (507) 362-4444
The lakes are wide open, but fishing reports have been light. A few anglers have started looking for panfish in those traditional spring locations with no success. Look for the bite to improve with some sunshine and warmer weather.
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports