Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report — May 5, 2017

Great Eight


There isn’t much to report this week due to poor weather and a lack of anglers on the water. As water temperatures start to again spike, work the bays, harbors, and lagoons for panfish.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430


Sturgeon continue to be caught up and down the Rainy River. Jump around the deeper holes with a sturgeon rig loaded with crawlers and/or frozen shiner minnows. Anchor your boat up stream of a deep hole and pitch your rig into it. Northern pike fishing is going strong in the shallow bays with most fish being taken on buzz baits, spinnerbaits, or a frozen cisco on the bottom.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH


With last week’s cold weather, the few crappies being caught have come from 10 to 15 feet. Once water temperatures shoot up these fish will again move shallow, 4 to 8 feet, on lakes such as Minnetonka, Medicine, and Independence.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227


With water temperatures taking a dip over the past week, any crappies that were being caught have not cooperated. Poor weather conditions also have prevented anglers from getting on the lake, but as it improves, the bays or mouths of them should start producing fish again.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430


Resorts are getting geared up for the fishing opener next weekend and water temperatures remain cool. There hasn’t been anyone out chasing perch, mainly due to poor weather.

Lake Winnie Resort Association


Crappies were starting to show up in the bays and boat harbors, but they moved out with the return of cold, windy weather. As conditions improve, start by looking just outside these locations and then inside them as the water warms.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250


Crappie and northern pike action has been slow due to poor weather conditions. People just haven’t been able to get out with the wind and cold last weekend.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766


Water temperatures remain cool so crappie action has been limited. Walleyes continue to spawn in the rivers and along shorelines, while sucker fishing is good in many rivers with nightcrawlers.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

Twin Cities Metro


Panfish action has slowed since last week only because people haven’t been able to get out and the cool weather pushed most crappies and sunfish out of the shallows. Just a couple days of nice weather will turn these fish back on in less than 6 feet at most lakes.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421


Pierson Lake, Whaletail Lake, Lake Bavaria, and Lake Auburn were starting to give up some panfish. But these bite’s have slowed with the return of cool weather that dropped water temperatures considerably. As it warms, look for these locations to again hold crappies and sunfish in shallow water.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022


Look to Cedar Lake for crappies in 4 to 6 feet and the north end bays of Prior Lake for sunfish. Crappies also were biting at Lake O’Dowd and Prior in 3 to 6 feet before it got cold. These lakes, among others, should be producing panfish again by this weekend.

Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096


The marina is now open with spring hours. After a few days of warm weather, the docks in Waconia Bay should be holding crappies and a few sunfish.

Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096



If the sun is out and water temperatures have the opportunity to rise, crappies can be caught in shallow water, but that wasn’t the case early this week. As the weather improves, lakes such as Mill, Darling, Le Homme Dieu, Carlos, and Ida will again give up panfish.

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


The bays and boat harbors on Clearwater Lake, Maple Lake, Sugar Lake, Cedar Lake, Lake John, and Lake Sylvia are worth noting for crappies and sunfish. Fishing pressure was light last week due to poor weather, but these lakes will produce fish as soon as it improves.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297


With the cool weather, panfish continue to be found more deep than shallow. That should change quickly with improved conditions this week so expect a push of crappies and sunfish into shallower water on Buchanan Lake, Rush Lake, West Battle Lake, Star Lake, Clitherall Lake, and South Turtle Lake among others.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596


There still isn’t anything to report on the panfish front. Cold weather conditions have prevented people from getting out and likely limited crappies and sunfish from moving into shallow water. With better weather expected this week, many of those shallow, traditional spring crappie spots should start holding fish.

Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781


The crappies, bluegills, and perch that had started to bite haven’t been worked much this past week. Wind, snow, and cold didn’t allowed people to get out, but look to Blackduck Lake, Beltrami Lake, Island Lake, and Gilstead Lake to produce panfish after a few days of nice weather.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636


As soon as the water starts to warm again, panfish action will pick up. Fish were being caught in 4 to 8 feet on Upper Gull Lake, North Long Lake, Nisswa Lake, Roy Lake, Cullen Lake, and Lake Margaret so look to the bays to be productive on them by this weekend.

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


Water temperatures still haven’t had an opportunity to climb and that, along with poor weather, has limited fishing pressure and meant no panfish movement into shallow water. As written last week, lakes such as Grace, Midge, Kitchi, Andrusia, and Wolf should be the first to produce crappies and bluegills.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831


Crappies and sunfish continue to move in and out of shallow water, and fishing activity has been limited in the past week due to the weather. That will change quick with warmer temperatures expected this week so Chisago Lake, North and South Lindstrom lakes, or North and South Center lakes should all be worth looking at this weekend.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334


Look to the north and south ends of Bay Lake for crappies in 4 to 8 feet. The channels on Milford Lake and west shore of Black Hoof Lake should also produce crappies. A mixed bag of panfish can be had at Greer Lake in less than 10 feet and Lower Mission Lake is worth checking for sunfish.

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


With the exception of a few sunfish coming off Height of Land Lake, panfish reports have been limited. Obviously, weather conditions over the past week have been poor in this area as well so there hasn’t been many people fishing.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248


When the sun shines and water temperatures spike, Rice Lake and Fish Lake are giving up crappies in 5 to 10 feet. The smelt run was pretty good last weekend, but it’s difficult to determine how long that will last. With measurable rain, there was a good push of steelhead and Kamloops into the rivers along the north shore early this week. The Lester River and Sucker River stood out and this action is expected to continue through this weekend.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094


Not much has changed since last week, other than the weather prevented anglers from getting out. Once it improves, look for crappies in the shallow water of Spectacle Lake, and a mixed bag of panfish in 5 to 7 feet at Blue Lake and Green Lake.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985


With wind, cold, and snow over the past week, fishing action has been light. The few that have gone out are reporting that the panfish that were shallow in some bays have moved back out. Look for them to return as soon as the sun comes out and water temperatures again climb in the shallow bays of most lakes.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191


Crappies continue to be caught in 4 to 12 feet on Hall Lake, Lake Sissiton, and Budd Lake. Look for perch in 3 to 6 feet at North Silver Lake and Perch Lake. Jigs tipped with minnows or plastics are turning walleyes on the West Des Moines River and Tuttle Lake.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225


There hasn’t been any activity on the lakes, but anglers continue to fish the streams and rivers with success. Steelhead are being caught in most rivers with the Brule, Flute Reed, Cascade, and Poplar standing out this week. Many small streams are giving up a few brook trout as well.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280


The cold and windy conditions have really limited fishing options over the past week and water temperatures have dropped as well. As it starts to warm again, Sand Lake, Lake Wabana, Lake Pokegama, Big and Little Cutfoot Sioux lakes, and Bowstring should start producing better numbers of crappies.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281


Fishing pressure was limited due to cold and windy weather this past week – there really wasn’t anyone fishing. With better weather expected, look to the reeds or shallow bays on Pine Lake, Big Swan Lake, and Big Birch Lake for crappies and sunfish.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405


Water temperatures remained cold early this week, but better panfish action is expected from most lakes by this weekend with warmer weather returning. Look to the shallow bays, basically everything is starting over so those spots that were productive should pick back up as the water warms.

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


Prior to the recent cold front, crappie action was starting to improve. As the weather starts warming the shallow bays again throughout this week, they should be biting in the same locations. Look to the bays on Woman Lake, Mule Lake, Boy Lake, and Little Boy Lake as productive starting points.

The One Stop (218) 363-2252


It’s been a slow week, mainly due to poor weather. There hasn’t been a lot of people fishing through the wind and cold. The shallow areas on lakes such as Madison, Washington, and German should continue to produce crappies after a few days of nice weather.

Corner Bait (507) 243-4464


Walleyes are being caught on Big Stone Lake, but mainly at night. The water is extremely clear so that has limited daytime action, but anglers fishing the shorelines and off docks are doing well with a jig and minnow or plain red hook and a leech. The south end of the lake is worth looking at for panfish in shallow water as well.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480


Crappies and sunfish had started hitting in shallow water on several lakes prior to the cold weather arriving last weekend. While those bites slowed since then, they should pick up with just a couple days of sunshine and warmer weather. The numerous bays throughout the Crow Wing Chain of Lakes should be good spots to start looking.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099


It’s been another week of slow panfish action throughout the area. With cold, wet, and windy conditions most anglers haven’t been able to get out and the few that have weren’t catching anything. The bays and shallow shorelines could start kicking out crappies and bluegills this week with the return of warmer weather.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355


Walleyes and sauger are being caught in 6 to 10 feet at the head of Lake Pepin. Live-bait rigs with crawlers or leeches and crankbaits are now working best on this stretch. Crappies and sunfish have started showing up in the backwater sloughs and boat harbors.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334


As the weather improves and water temperatures start to rebound, the shallow bays, shorelines, and channels should again hold panfish. Horseshoe Lake, Long Lake, Rice Lake, Cedar Island Lake, Mud Lake, Upper Spunk Lake, Becker Lake, and Clear Lake are all worth checking.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975


Poor weather conditions have limited most fishing opportunities over the past week. If the sun returns for a couple of days, most shallow bays will be holding panfish this weekend; They were before it got cold so look for them to return quickly.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155


You need a boat, but Fish Hatchery  Bay and Lakeside Ballroom areas on the Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska are worth noting for crappies. You have to do some sorting, but the Starbuck Marina on Minnewaska is producing a mixed bag of panfish as well – you can fish from the docks here.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle

(320) 239-2239


When the sun comes out and water temperatures rise, you’ll find crappies and sunfish in shallow water. Henderson Lake, Willmar/Foot Lake, Green Lake, Diamond Lake, and Elkhorn Lake are worth noting, but others will produce too as the water starts to warm.

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

Categories: MInnesota Fishing Reports, News

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