Statewide Minnesota Fishing Report – April 8th, 2016

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Some crappies had started to show up along the shorelines and in the shallow lagoons and bays on the area’s small lakes. With the return of cold weather, water temperatures dropped and those fish seem to have moved back out. Look for a quick spike in panfish action as soon as the water warms.

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255

ANNANDALE AREA

There hasn’t been much to report over the past week other than a few crappies being caught in the channels and shallow bays when the sun is out and the water warms a bit. You will find suckers in the creeks and small rivers, and that might be the best fish-catching option at this point.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE AREA

The ice is completely off all lakes and a few crappies are being caught in shallow water at the Ten Mile Culvert, the channel on Wall Lake, Elbow Lake, and Mollie Stark Lake. Water temperatures remain cool so the panfish bite will continue to improve as it warms.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

Ice continues to cover area lakes, the wind is moving it, and pockets of open water are starting to show along the shorelines and on any side of a given lake where the wind has pushed the ice out. 

Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781 

BLACKDUCK AREA

The shorelines have pulled away, but all lakes are still covered with ice. Some of the small ponds that had opened actually re-froze this week with the return of cold weather. By most accounts, it shouldn’t take very long for the ice to go once it does warm up.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

With the exception of some small areas of floating ice on a few lakes, this area is ice-free. Unfortunately, this week’s cooler weather has set the spring crappie bite back again. Water temperatures likely got colder this week, and that’s limited panfish action in the shallows.

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

CASS LAKE AREA

The shorelines are open on the big lakes and some small lakes have started to open, but main-lake ice is still quite evident. With the colder weather this week, ice-out should be comparable to traditional, median ice-out dates.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831

CHISAGO AREA   

Water temperatures have dipped this week, slowing crappie action. Once it starts to climb again, lakes such as Chisago, North Lindstrom, Green, and South Center should all continue to produce panfish in less than 6 feet.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

Most small lakes have been open for about two weeks and any remaining ice on the area’s large lakes went out last weekend. Panfish reports have been limited, likely due to cold water and poor weather conditions. Crappies have been nonexistent and a few sunfish are being caught by shore fishermen on those lakes that opened earliest.

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

DETROIT LAKES AREA

You may find floating ice on a couple of large lakes, but most of the area is ice-free. There hasn’t been any panfish reports, but that could quickly change with a few days of warm weather.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA   

With the cooler weather this week, ice conditions have not deteriorated much. Although some shorelines have started to open, most lakes remain covered with ice. Anglers trolling from small boats on Lake Superior are catching Kamloops and a few coho salmon. These fish have been close to shore and most active in the top 10 or 15 feet of the water column. Kamloops also are being caught by shore fishermen in the French River area on waxworms and nightcrawlers. 

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST CENTRAL MN

Crappies and sunfish continue to move in and out of the shallows with the changing weather patterns. If you get a nice day or two in a row, they’ll move back in with lakes such as Little Elk and Blue worth checking in less than 5 feet.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

ELY AREA

Ice conditions remain about the same as they were last week and if a person really wanted to, you could probably find a lake to fish this weekend. Some shorelines have started to pull away and the creeks have opened, but most main-lake ice is solid. There is no snow on top of it so a stretch of warm weather should cause the ice to deteriorate quickly.

The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744

EMILY AREA 

There were still some pieces of floating ice on a couple of bigger lakes early this week, but it should be gone soon. Although it hasn’t happened yet, panfish should start moving into those traditional spring spots as the water continues to warm.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191

FAIRMONT AREA

Anglers fishing from shore on Budd Lake, Amber Lake, and Lake Sissiton are catching crappies on plastics or minnows. Jigs and plastics are turning walleyes in shallow water at Tuttle Lake and below Tuttle on the Des Moines River. You’ll catch perch in less than 5 feet at Cedar Lake.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

FARIBAULT AREA

A few panfish were being caught above and below the dam on the Cannon River and in the Warsaw Bridge area on Cannon Lake. These bites have slowed since the cold weather arrived early this week, but should pick up again as soon as it warms up.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341

GRAND MARAIS AREA

A few anglers are fishing through the ice and catch walleyes at South Fowl Lake in 4 to 6 feet, Gunflint Lake in 25 to 30 feet, and Lake Saganaga in 18 to 25 feet. Ice conditions have not deteriorated at all and this area received about 10 inches of snow recently.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

GRAND RAPIDS AREA 

There’s still ice covering the majority of lakes, but the shorelines are now pulled far enough away to prevent anglers from getting on most of them. Some anglers were using long planks to access a couple of the area’s bigger lakes last weekend, although that might not be an option any longer. Call ahead.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

GREY EAGLE AREA

Anglers have just started hitting some of the bays and traditional spring shore-fishing spots. Crappie reports have been limited from the shallows as water temperatures remain cool. Suckers have started running in the creeks and there has been some fishing success for them.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

HACKENSACK AREA 

The small lakes are wide open and limited ice remains on a couple of larger lakes. Any ice that remains is moving and will likely be gone by this weekend given the strong winds early this week.

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

HIBBING/CHISHOLM AREA

The shorelines are soft and starting to pull away, but main-lake ice has remained intact. With snow still on the ground and unseasonably cool temperatures this week, the ice could hang on for a while longer.

Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168

LAKE KABETOGAMA

Ice conditions are poor in many areas so any ice fishing has been limited to just a few locations that remain safe. With cooler weather settling back in, it does appear that ice-out should be about normal this year, which wouldn’t have been the case if the warm weather in March had persisted.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121

MADISON LAKE AREA

Crappies are moving in and out of shallow water with the weather changes. If the sun is out the bite improves, but as it cools down these fish move deeper. Duck Lake would be a good starting point once the weather improves.

White’s Corner Bait (507) 243-4464

McGREGOR AREA 

The ice is just about out on all lakes. Most are already open and any ice that remains shouldn’t stick around past this weekend. There hasn’t been much to report other than anglers are waiting for the water to warm and crappies to move shallow.

Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits (218) 426-3382

MORA AREA

Crappies and sunfish have started to bite at the bridge on the Ann River. A few crappies also can be had off the fishing pier and in the bays on Knife Lake. These reports have not been consistent and should improve as the weather does and water temperatures climb.

Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151

PARK RAPIDS AREA

The small lakes have been open for more than a week, but some ice remained on the bigger lakes as of Tuesday morning. A few crappies are being caught by shore fishermen when the sun is out during the afternoon hours at Straight Lake and the north end of Long Lake.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

PERHAM AREA

The ice is off all lakes, but panfish reports have been limited. Anglers have been looking to the shallow bays on several lakes, but with cool water, crappies and sunfish haven’t moved in.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

RED WING AREA

The bite was pretty decent last weekend on the Mississippi River, but it has slowed since the cold front arrived. Anglers were catching more sauger than walleyes with jigs on the current seams and slack-water areas in 10 to 20 feet. There hasn’t been a big push of large walleyes into the river at this point, the current continues to be somewhat strong, and the water temperature was about 42 degrees before this week’s cold front.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

ROCHESTER AREA

Walleye fishing has been a bit slow on the Mississippi River, but some fish are being caught and the perch bite in the Bass Camp/Wilcox area has been good. A few crappies have been taken on Lake Zumbro, although the water is cool and with Foster Arend Pond recently stocked with rainbow trout, that bite has been consistently good.

Hooked On Fishing (507) 282-4982

ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA  

Panfish reports continue to be limited as water temperatures remain cool. A few crappies have been caught in the bays on the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes, but only when the sun comes out.

Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Panfish continue to be tough to find in shallow water, but the Four Mile Bay area on Lake Osakis is producing crappies over 20 to 30 feet. Suckers have started to run and anglers are catching them with nightcrawlers in most creeks.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA

Sucker action has picked up on most of the creeks and small rivers in the area; most are being taken with nightcrawlers. Anglers have started to look for panfish in most of the area’s traditional spring locations, but they haven’t moved shallow, likely due to cold water. 

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056

STARBUCK AREA

You need a boat, but crappies are being caught in Fish Hatchery Bay and in front of Lakeside Ballroom on Lake Minnewaska in 5 to 7 feet. A few also show up in the Starbuck Marina on Minnewaska when the sun comes out and the north end of Pocket Lake is worth noting for crappies as well.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239

VIRGINIA AREA

The ice, including most shorelines, continues to hold on. It hasn’t been warm enough in this area for the ice to deteriorate much at all so it’s going to be a while before open-water fishing is an option.

Lucky Seven General Store (218) 741-3617

WATERVILLE AREA

The lagoons on Lake Tetonka are producing sunfish and Hidden Cove on Tetonka started giving up a few small crappies. Both bites should continue to improve as the water warms.

Axel’s Tackle Box (507) 362-4444

WILLMAR AREA

Fishing pressure has been light and panfish have been tough to find in shallow water. This week’s weather has done little to warm the water, but as it does start to spike, look to those culverts, shallow bays, and shorelines to start producing crappies.

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

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