Statewide Minnesota Fishing Report – May 13th, 2016


Crappies and sunfish are moving in and out of the shallows on most lakes. If they aren’t shallow, look to the mid-depth weed flats for panfish. Lakes such as Reno, Rachel, Darling, Carlos, Ida, Lobster, and Oscar among others are all producing fish.

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


Sunfish and crappies are being caught in the shallow bays and channels at Clearwater Lake, Lake Sylvia, Lake John, Sugar Lake, Maple Lake, and Pleasant Lake. The best action has been during midday and early evening hours, once the water has a chance to warm.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297


Crappies and sunfish are biting in 5 to 7 feet in most bays on Bass/Elbow Lake, Clitherall Lake, West Battle Lake, and Mollie Stark Lake. These fish continue to move in and out of the shallows with the weather changes, but when it’s sunny and warm, the bite has been decent.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596


Crappie and bluegill reports have been limited, with a few fish being caught in 12 to 14 feet of water on the cloudy days, but they will move up shallower if the sun comes out. Middle Sucker Lake or the reeds on Lake Julia are giving up some crappies.

Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781 


Crappie action has been on and off as the weather changes. When it’s nice, crappies do move up shallow with Lake Beltrami, Gilstead Lake, North Twin Lake, and South Twin Lake giving up some fish. Bluegills also have started to move shallow on these lakes, but not in huge numbers as of early this week.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636


Crappies and some sunfish are being caught during the afternoon hours in shallow water. You have to wait until the water warms. The Gull Lake channels, Upper Gull Lake, Highway 371 Bay on North Long Lake, the small bays on Whitefish Lake, and Nisswa Lake continue to produce the most fish. 

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


Crappies and sunfish are being caught during the afternoon hours on Kitchi Lake, Wolf Lake, or in Allen’s Bay and Dick’s Bay on Cass Lake in 4 feet. Perch are being caught on the 8- foot sand on the southwest and east ends of Cass and east end of Pike Bay Lake.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831


Look for crappies and sunfish in 10 to 12 feet if it’s cloudy or 1 to 5 feet when the sun is out. Better lakes this week include Chisago, North Lindstrom, South Lindstrom, South Center, and the back bay on Big Green.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334


You’ll still find some crappies in the shallow bays and others starting to show up in the pencil reeds at Black Hoof Lake, Serpent Lake, Greer Lake, Lake Adney, and Clearwater Lake. Look for sunfish in less than 4 feet, under docks and in the reeds, on Lower Mission Lake and the west side of Little Rabbit Lake.

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


Look for crappies on Tamarack Lake, Franklin Lake, Big Floyd and Little Floyd lakes, Sour Lake, and Big Detroit Lake. These fish were in less than 6 feet before the cool weather arrived, so look deeper until it warms again. Sunfish have yet to show up in any numbers in shallow water.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248


Crappies continue to hit on Fish Lake, Island Lake, and Whiteface Lake in 3 to 6 feet. The St. Louis River also is giving up crappies and a few bluegills are starting to show up in shallow water on area lakes as well. The annual steelhead and looper run has pretty much ended, but coho salmon and lake trout are hitting stickbaits on Lake Superior in the top 40 feet of the water column.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094


Blue Lake and Green Lake are giving up crappies in 7 to 9 feet and sunfish in 2 to 4 feet of water. Nightcrawlers are producing rough fish and some catfish on the current breaks throughout the Mississippi River.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985


Fishing activity has been light this week, but will obviously pick up during this weekend’s fishing opener. Look for crappies in the shallow bays, and since water temperatures remain low, walleyes could be shallow and deep.

The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744


Work the shorelines in 4 to 6 feet for crappies and sunfish at George Lake and Lake Sissiton. The docks on the south side of Amber Lake are giving up perch in 4 to 8 feet, while live-bait rigs and minnows are turning walleyes in 3 to 6 feet at Tuttle Lake.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225


Look to Roberds Lake for sunfish and Lake Mazaska for crappies in 4 to 8 feet. Shields Lake is kicking out crappies and sunfish in 3 to 8 feet of water, and Circle Lake is producing some crappies in less than 5 feet.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341


Most of the lakes have been ice-free for about the last week, so there will be plenty of spots to fish on opening day. Look shallow for walleyes to start the season because water temperatures will be low with recent weather conditions.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280


Crappies and sunfish are moving in and out of shallow water again this week. Lakes such as Big Cutfoot, Little Cutfoot, Bowstring, Sand, Wabana, and Big Splithand have all produced fish when the sun is out.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281


Crappies are being found in 3 to 6 feet at Long Lake Higgin’s and Mound Lake. The bays on Big Birch Lake and Little Birch Lake are producing crappies and sunfish, while Little Swan Lake-Pillsbury is giving up crappies, as well.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405


On those days when the sun is out, crappies are being caught in 4 to 6 feet or along the shallow reed edges of many lakes. Birch, Webb, Child, Little Birch, and Pleasant are all lakes that have produced fish during the afternoon hours. 

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


You’ll find crappies and a few sunfish in 3 to 6 feet on McCormick Lake, Dewey Lake, and Echo Lake. Minnows and small jigs are working best and the bite seems to pick up during the afternoon and early evening hours when water temperatures are highest.

Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168


Panfish action has just started to improve with some better reports coming from the harbors of Girl Lake for sunfish or Broadwater Bay on Woman Lake and the shallow bays on Lake Inguadona for crappies. The thick bulrushes on Big Boy Lake are worth checking for a mixed bag of panfish, which will only get better as the water continues to warm.

The One Stop (218) 363-2252


The Grassy Island and Narrrows areas on Lake Washington are giving up crappies in 6 to 8 feet. On Madison Lake, crappies are being caught near Buckmaster’s Bridge, as are sunfish in Town Bay over 4 to 6 feet. You’ll also find sunfish on the west side of Lake Francis near Carpenter’s Point.

White’s Corner Bait (507) 243-4464


The bays and shorelines on Ann Lake and Knife Lake are producing sunfish. Crappie action has been slow this week, likely due to the return of cool weather, but it should improve as soon as water temperatures climb again.

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


Walleyes have been tough to catch during the day on Big Stone Lake, but there is some action at night with slip bobbers and leeches or jigs and minnows along the shorelines throughout the lake. Look to the docks for bluegills and in 6 to 8 feet for crappies on the south end of Big Stone.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480


The bays on Big Mantrap Lake, Island Lake (North), and Lake Belle Taine are producing crappies and a few sunfish. The calm, sunny days continue to produce better numbers of fish.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099


Crappies and sunfish are hitting at a good pace on most lakes in 3 to 6 feet when the sun is out. The local bite has been highlighted by good numbers of fish off Loon Lake, Buchanan Lake, Rush Lake, Big Pine Lake, Little Pine Lake, and Little McDonald Lake.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355


Trolling crankbaits has produced walleyes at the Head of the Lakes area in 10 to 14 feet and the Bay City Flats in 8 to 10 feet on Lake Pepin. Crappies have moved into the marinas and backwaters off the Mississippi River, and you’ll catch catfish on crawlers or cut bait below the dam in 18 to 22 feet.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334


Lake Zumbro is kicking out crappies at a variety of depths and Foster Arend Pond continues to produce rainbow trout in 5 to 10 feet. Hit the fishing pier on Willow Creek Reservoir for crappies and sunfish, while the shorelines on Lake Pepin are giving up panfish in shallow water and a few walleyes in 10 to 15 feet. Chesterwoods Pond is producing a mixed bag of panfish in 5 to 10 feet.

Hooked On Fishing (507) 282-4982


Sunfish and crappies are being found in 2 to 5 feet, mainly in bays, along shorelines, and under bridges where they exist. Lakes such as Rice, Koronis, Cedar Island, Long, Horseshoe, and Browns are all worth noting. Channel catfish have become active in the shallow areas of the Sauk River Chain as well.

Mike’s Bait and Tackle (320) 453-2248


The bays on most lakes are producing numbers of crappies, and you’ll find some sunfish mixed in, as well. While most lakes now provide a likely panfish option, you can’t go wrong by choosing  Fairy Lake, Lilly Lake, Long Bridge Lake, Lake Osakis, and Sauk Lake.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155


Look to Lake Alexander, Fish Trap Lake, and Lake Shamineau for crappies in less than 6 feet – a few sunfish are mixed in, as well. The Mississippi River is giving up a mixed bag of fish on minnows or nightcrawlers.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056


You’ll find crappies and sunfish in the Starbuck Marina on Lake Minnewaska. Crappie action also remains favorable in front of the Lakeside Ballroom on the Glenwood end of Minnewaska in 8 feet.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239


A few crappies have started to be caught on the area’s small lakes in 10 to 14 feet. These fish should start showing up in shallower water in better numbers as soon as water temperatures climb a few more degrees.

Lucky Seven General Store (218) 741-3617


Work the shallow bar off the island on Lake Sakatah for sunfish, while the lagoons and swimming beach areas on Lake Tetonka are producing crappies and sunfish. You’ll find a mixed bag of panfish in shallow water on Clear Lake by Waseca and sunfish in 3 to 10 feet at German Lake.

Axel’s Tackle Box (507) 362-4444


Crappies and sunfish are starting to move out of the bays and onto the docks and shorelines throughout the area. Lakes such as George, Florida, Eagle, Green, Norway, and Andrew have all produced panfish this week.

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


Nightcrawlers are producing bullheads at School Grove Lake and Lake Benton. Catfish also can be had on School Grove. Crappie reports have been limited with a few fish coming off Bloody Lake and Lake Shetek. There’s some evening walleye and white bass action in 4 to 8 feet on Lake Hendricks.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

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