Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report — December 23, 2016
LAKE MILLE LACS
East – You’ll find 8 to 10 inches of ice in the bays, while main lake ice depths vary so be sure to check with a resort or bait shop before venturing out. Walleye action has been very good with fish of all sizes being caught in 18 to 22 feet. There has been some jumbo perch mixed with the walleyes as well.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
West – Shiner minnows or jigging spoons are both producing good numbers of walleyes. The 18- to 24-foot break in St. Alban’s Bay or the 13- to 24-foot rock points have been most productive. Anglers are reporting 7 to 8 inches of ice in the areas being fished.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
As of this writing, 10 to 14 inches of ice was common, but it’s still suggested to work through a resort and stay on their marked roads. Walleyes are biting in 20 to 25 feet with red or pink glow spoons or a plain hook and minnow working best. With a huge shiner run there is still a lot of walleyes in the Rainy River, too – utilize a resort when fishing it as well. At the Northwest Angle, 9 to 14 inches of ice is reported with walleyes and sauger both hitting in 20 feet.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Although everything is locked up, ice depths vary from 1 to 5 inches on area lakes. The snow seems to have really slowed the ice-making process so extreme caution continues to be advised on all lakes.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Snowmobiles and ATVs are being utilized on a good portion of the lake, but caution is advised once you hit the big bays and main part of the lake. Walleyes are being caught in 20 to 22 feet off the reefs with jigging spoons or setlines with shiner minnows. Some pike are being taken in the bays over 10 to 12 feet.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Perch and northern pike are being taken on the west side of the lake in 8 to 12 feet – reports have been minimal off the main lake. The areas being worked now have 10 to 12 inches of ice.
Much of the main lake has 8 to 11 inches of ice, but there are some cracks and ice heaves to watch for. Walleyes are being caught off Stoney Point and Pine Point in 12 to 14 feet. In Walker Bay, anglers are reporting varying ice depths from 4 to 8 inches with people mainly fishing off the first shoreline breaks and catching some walleyes during low-light periods. ATVs are being used in Agency Bay and Trader’s Bay, but fishing reports have been limited.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company
Many of the secluded bays now have 6 inches of ice with a bit less reported on the main lake. Walleye reports have been slow, but should improve as more of the main lake and bigger bays become accessible. Pike action has been good in the Rainy Lake City area.
Walleye action seems to be improving as the water slowly starts to clear up. The morning and late afternoon hours have been best with some fish biting during the day, and a few being caught at night. Most are coming out of 8 to 11 feet on spoons or setlines and shiner minnows. Thirteen inches of ice is common throughout the lake.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128
Twin Cities Metro
Some crappies are being caught in front of the VFW on White Bear Lake during low-light periods. The Bayport area of the St. Croix River is producing walleyes, silver bass, and crappies over 35 feet. Most areas have 4 to 6 inches of ice so be careful and safe.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle
A second round of snow last weekend slowed the ice-making. Anglers are finding 3 to 5 inches of ice with some pockets of slush. Some crappies are being taken on the east end of Lake Parley in 12 feet and at Lake Wasserman over 20 feet.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
A second round of snow last weekend didn’t help the ice-making. Snow is now 6 to 10 inches deep on the lake and slush has started to develop. While there are areas with no slush it shows up fast when you drill a hole. Walking continues to be the only travel option and you need to check the ice as you go. The shop will remain closed through Christmas weekend.
You’ll find crappies on Little Mary Lake in 8 to 10 feet, and Reno Lake is producing crappies and walleyes in 10 to 14 feet. On Lake Darling, crappies and sunfish are being found in 8 to 10 feet, as are walleyes in 12 to 15 feet. Look to Maple Lake for crappies in 12 to 15 feet and to Lake Geneva for panfish in shallower water. Ice depths vary from 6 to 12 inches from lake to lake.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle
Anglers are reporting 2 to 6 inches of ice and there’s snow on top of it, so use caution. The north end of Maple Lake is kicking out crappies, bluegills, and a few walleyes, while a few walleyes are coming off Clearwater Lake in 18 to 22 feet as well. Northern pike spearing has been pretty good on most lakes.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
You’ll find 4 to 6 inches of ice on the big lakes and 7 to 9 inches on the small bodies of water. A few walleyes are hitting on Otter Tail Lake in 15 to 20 feet and West Battle Lake in 25 to 30 feet. Although crappie and bluegill reports have been limited, start looking for them in 10 to 12 feet on most lakes.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Most lakes have 7 to 10 inches of ice, with more on some and less ice on a few big lakes. Fishing reports have been limited as most anglers are just starting to head out. The up and down temperatures and changing weather conditions haven’t helped the bite.
Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781
Pimushe Lake, Gull Lake, and Lake Rabideau are producing crappies and bluegills in 20 feet. Blackduck Lake and Island Lake are worth hitting for walleyes during low-light periods and perch during the day in 15 to 20 feet. Snowmobiles and ATVs are being used on area lakes with 6 to 10 inches of ice.
Timberline Sports and Tackle
Ice depths average about 8 inches on area lakes and ATVs are being used, but you still have to watch some areas on the big part of Gull Lake. Look for crappies in 10 feet and walleyes in 18 feet on North Long Lake. Round Lake is producing walleyes, crappies, and northern pike in 18 to 22 feet. Sunfish reports have been best off Cullen Lake and Hubert Lake in 10 to 12 feet.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/
Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
Walleyes and pike are hitting in the channel between Chisago Lake and South Lindstrom Lake. Walleyes are being pulled from the south end of Green Lake in 6 to 12 feet and off the old road bed at South Lindstrom in 6 to 14 feet. The A-Frame area on Chisago is producing sunfish. The Nelson’s Island area on North Center Lake is giving up crappies and sunfish in 8 to 15 feet. There’s 4 to 6 inches of ice on area lakes.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
Walleye action has been slow with a few fish coming off Serpent Lake and Rabbit Lake during evening hours in 18 to 22 feet. Crappie reports have been limited with lakes such as Bay, Perry, Upper Dean, and Black Hoof giving up a few fish over 30 feet, but no big numbers. Snowmobiles and ATVs are being used with 6 to 8 inches of ice on most lakes.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Ice depths vary from 6 to 10 inches, depending on the lake, and ATVs are being used throughout the area. Deadshot Bay, Island Lake, and Height of Land Lake are producing walleyes and panfish in 20 to 25 feet.
Quality Bait and Tackle
Walleyes are hitting shiners and chubs in 6 to 8 feet at Boulder Lake and Rice Lake. Minnows also are turning walleyes in the St. Louis Harbor area of Lake Superior in 8 to 10 feet. Tip-ups and sucker minnows are turning pike in 8 feet at Fish Lake. There’s about 8 inches of ice on most lakes.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Most lakes now have 6 inches of ice, but fishing reports have been limited. There has been quite a few people going, but the bite has been slow for everything. Look to Little Elk Lake for walleyes and pike in 9 to 12 feet and Eagle Lake for crappies in 14 feet
Tales and Trails Sport Shop
Ice conditions have not improved much since last week and slush has started to show up on top of the 4 to 8 inches of ice due to another round of snow. Anglers are walking on Budd Lake and catching crappies and bluegills in 11 to 15 feet. On Cedar Lake, walleyes, perch, and northern pike are biting in 5 feet.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
Ice depths vary from 2 to 7 inches and there is a lot of snow on top of it so you really need to be careful on the lakes here. Anglers have been walking on French Lake, Roberds Lake, and Cannon Lake, but the bite has been slow.
Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Most lakes now have 6 to 9 inches of ice, but there’s some slush on a few lakes in the middle of the Gunflint Trail. Walleyes are hitting chubs at Cascade Lake in 6 to 12 feet, Poplar Lake in 18 to 20 feet, and Elbow Lake in 5 feet. Pike are being taken in less than 8 feet on Devil Track Lake and Elbow.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
With the exception of some areas on the big lakes, ATVs are being used throughout the area. Big and Little Splithand lakes, Lake Pokegama, Big and Little Cutfoot Sioux lakes are producing panfish over 18 to 20 feet. You’ll hook a few walleyes at sunset on Pokegama in 19 to 26 feet or at Big Splithand and Moose Lake in 7 to 14 feet. Despite some dirty water, spearing for pike has been good on most lakes.
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281
Ice depths vary from 6 to 9 inches on area lakes, but fishing pressure has been light. Most anglers are just starting to venture out on the small lakes in search of walleyes and panfish – reports indicate marginal success.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle
Area lakes now have 7 to 9 inches of ice. Fishing has been slow with the exception of some crappies biting at McCormick Lake and Blue Lake in 25 to 30 feet.
Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168
The Park Service reports 8 to 10 inches of ice from the Ash River Visitors Center to Lake Kabetogama. The Service intends to mark the snowmobile trail late this week. The bays are providing good angling and spearing action for pike, but main lake walleye reports have been minimal.
Gateway Store (218) 875-2121
Most lakes have 4 to 8 inches of ice and there’s been a lot of activity on most lakes. Sunfish are biting in 18 feet at Girl Lake. Big Boy Lake is producing crappies and sunfish in 6 to 8 feet. The 15-foot weedline on Upper Trelipe Lake is turning walleyes, as is the 14- to 16-foot break on Woman Lake.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
MADISON LAKE AREA
Ice depths are slowly improving with 4 to 6 inches now reported on area lakes, but the snow pack has caused slush to develop on some areas. Walleyes are being caught on Lake Henry in 6 feet, and Duck Lake is producing crappies and northern pike in 12 to 15 feet.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
Anglers are reporting 7 to 9 inches on area lakes so ATVs are being used. Lake Eleven started producing sunfish in 7 feet and Mud Lake is kicking out sunfish in 5 to 7 feet. Walleye, crappie, and pike reports have been limited.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop
Perch continue to be spread out, but active in 11 to 13 feet on Big Stone Lake and there has been some bluegills and crappies in the mix as well. You’ll find 10 to 12 inches of ice with the best fishing reports coming from the Peninsula, Kramer’s Landing, and Ben Heins area.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Anglers are walking on some lakes and using ATVs on others with 6 to 8 inches of ice – use caution on big lakes. Look to Fish Hook Lake, Potato Lake, and Long Lake for a few walleyes in 18 to 21 feet. Lake George is worth hitting for bluegills in 8 to 10 feet.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors
Most lakes now have 8 to 12 inches of ice so snowmobiles and ATVs are being used. Walleyes are hitting rattle spoons at Big Pine Lake, Little Pine Lake, and Rush Lake in 18 to 20 feet during the morning and evening. Some panfish are being caught on the area’s small lakes, but the crappie and bluegill bite hasn’t been consistent.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
The cold weather limited most boat traffic on the Mississippi River over the past week, but the accesses are open and with some warmer weather, walleyes and sauger should still be an option. There’s 5 to 7 inches of ice on the back channels and bays where crappies, sunfish, and pike have been biting.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
You’ll find 3 to 8 inches of ice, depending on the lake and there is some slush on some of them so ATV travel has been difficult on a few. Big Lake is producing sunfish in 20 to 25 feet, while Grand Lake and Pearl Lake are giving up pike in 10 to 14 feet mainly on sucker or shiner minnows.
Channel Marine and Sports
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Walleyes are hitting in 18 to 34 feet and crappies are going in 30 to 40 feet at Sauk Lake during low-light periods. McCormick Lake is producing walleyes in 8 feet during the evening hours – shiner minnows, fatheads, and rainbows are all working. With the exception of Lake Osakis, most lakes have 6 to 8 inches of ice.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
Anglers are reporting 5 to 6 inches of ice on area lakes, but most people continue to walk out. Crappies and sunfish are hitting on Ham Lake and several other small lakes in shallow water. These small lakes tend to have better ice depths as well.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
Ice depths are slowly improving with 8 to 10 inches now being found on area lakes. Walleyes are hitting shiner minnows or rattle baits during the evening hours on Lake Minnewaska in 20 to 22 feet. A few walleyes continue to be caught on Lake Emily, but this bite has slowed. Long Lake and Lake Charlotte towards Morris are producing walleyes in 12 to 15 feet. Hit Pomme de Terre Lake for walleyes and crappies in less than 8 feet, while the Glenwood end of Minnewaska in giving up crappies over 15 feet during the evening hours.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle
Most reports indicate 8 to 10 inches of ice on area lakes. Panfish reports have been limited, but spearing for northern pike has been good on most small lakes in less than 8 feet.
Lucky Seven General Store
The shallow lakes have 6 to 9 inches of ice, while the big lakes have less ice, snow on top, and some areas with slush. The weedlines on Ringo Lake, South Long Lake, Solomon Lake, and Willmar/Foot Lake are giving up a few walleyes, pike, and panfish. Look to Lake Wagonda for perch, walleyes, and pike, Big Kandi Lake for walleyes and perch, Lake Minnetoga for walleyes, and Lake Elizabeth for crappies and walleyes.
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports