Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report — May 12, 2017
LAKE MILLE LACS
Fishing pressure remains light, but look for crappies and bluegills to start moving into the bays and boat harbors. With water temperatures climbing, panfish should be a fine secondary option for walleye anglers opening weekend.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
With the bays continuing to warm, northern pike are being caught in shallow water. Sturgeon action has been on fire throughout the Rainy River. Work the deeper holes with crawlers or frozen shiner minnows and a heavy roll weight, otherwise known as a sturgeon rig.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
You’ll find crappies and sunfish in 3 to 9 feet on Lake Minnetonka, Medicine Lake, and Lake Independence. Minnows or plastics are turning the crappies and waxworms are producing sunfish.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
A few more crappies have been showing up in the bays or entrances to them. Look for suspended fish just outside these areas or in shallower water the farther you get into the bays.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Fishing pressure continues to be light, although the smaller lakes in the area are starting to produce crappies. Look for walleyes on the points, shoreline breaks, and shallow bars this weekend.
Crappies are being caught in Boy Bay, Kabekona Bay, and the north end of Sucker Bay in less than 6 feet. Most harbors are holding crappies as well and perch reports have been decent in the Narrows.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
Crappies have been tough to locate, but a few northern pike are being caught in the shallower bays – look for the crappies to move in as well. Sturgeon action continues to be consistent in the deeper holes of the Rainy River with nightcrawlers or frozen shiner minnows working best.
International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766
Crappie reports continue to be light from the boat harbors, but with water temperatures improving daily, these fish should be moving in.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128
Twin Cities Metro
Walleye action continues to be good in Pool No. 4 of the Mississippi River and Prescott area of the St. Croix River. White Bear Lake, Big Marine Lake, and Silver Lake are giving up crappies and sunfish in 8 to 10 feet. Smallmouth and white bass are hitting on the St. Croix and some big pike are being caught in Pool No. 2 of the Mississippi.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
Sunfish are biting in 2 to 5 feet on Lake Auburn and Lake Zumbra. Look for crappies on Lake Bavaria, Whaletail Lake, and Lake Parley in 3 to 10 feet. Generally, panfish have moved shallow and become active on most lakes.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Crappies are being caught on Prior Lake in 2 to 10 feet and Spring Lake is kicking out crappies in 5 to 7 feet. You’ll find bluegills mixed in with the crappies on both lakes.
Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096
Crappies and sunfish are being caught from the marina to Harm’s Point along the 12- to 15- foot weedline. Look for these fish to continue moving shallower as the water warms.
Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096
Crappies and sunfish are biting in the shallow bays of Lake Ida, Lake Darling, Lake Carlos, Oscar Lake, Lobster Lake, and Lake Le Homme Dieu, among others. Small jigs tipped with minnows, plastics, or waxworms are turning fish.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
It’s been a good week of panfish action in the shallow bays, shorelines, and lagoons. Maple Lake, Clearwater Lake, Lake John, Sugar Lake, Lake Sylvia, Pleasant Lake, and Cedar Lake are a handful of the many fisheries now giving up crappies and sunfish.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Crappies are being found in less than 6 feet on Clitherall Lake, Rush Lake, at Phelp’s Mill, and the Ten Mile Culvert. Sunfish also are being caught on Rush, Stalker Lake, Elbow Lake, and Mollie Stark Lake in 3 to 8 feet.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Crappies are just starting to show up in the shallow bays on most lakes, highlighted by a good bite on Turtle River Lake in 3 to 6 feet. Sunfish also are being caught throughout the area in slightly deeper water.
Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781
Look for crappies in 3 to 8 feet on Gilstead Lake, Lake Beltrami, or North and South Twin lakes. A few bluegills are mixed with the crappies and perch can be had on Blackduck Lake in 10 feet.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
Crappies and sunfish are now in the shallows on most lakes. The Bar Harbor area on Upper Gull Lake, or the shallow bays at Lake Margaret, Roy Lake, Wilson Bay on Gull, North Long Lake, and Round Lake are all giving up a mixed bag of panfish.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Crappies and sunfish were suspended over 18 to 20 feet during the day, but they move shallow in the late afternoon and evening. Dick’s Bay and Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake have been the best options, but shallow bays on most lakes are worth checking right now.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Look for crappies in 6 to 8 feet and sunfish in 8 to 10 feet in the bays and channels of most lakes. Chisago Lake, Green Lake, North and South Center lakes, or North and South Lindstrom lakes have all been safe bets.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
Crappies and a few bluegills were being caught in 3 to 7 feet on Serpent Lake and Clearwater Lake. You’ll also find crappies on Black Hoof Lake, Bay Lake, and the north end of Crooked Lake in shallow water.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Most small, shallow bays or shorelines started producing crappies and sunfish. Big Detroit Lake, Height of Land Lake, Floyd Lake, Lake Melissa, and Sour Lake have all been giving up fish.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
Island Lake and Fish Lake have been giving up crappies in 8 to 10 feet. If the wind isn’t blowing, the Two Harbors area on Lake Superior has been producing coho salmon in the top 25 feet of the water column on small stickbaits and spoons. The murkier water on the Wisconsin south shore was also a safe bet for cohos and brown trout near the surface.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Green Lake and Spectacle Lake are giving up crappies in 3 to 6 feet. Look to Blue Lake for sunfish in shallow water as well, and channel catfish continue to bite on the Mississippi River.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985
Crappies are being caught on Lake Emily in 2 to 4 feet, and sunfish have started biting on Eagle Lake in 10 feet. Look to the island area on Ruth Lake in 6 to 8 feet for crappies and sunfish.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
Crappies are being taken in 4 to 12 on Hall Lake, Lake Sissiton, and Budd Lake. Walleyes continue to bite jigs tipped with minnows or plastics at Tuttle Lake and West Des Moines River. Perch are in 3 to 6 feet at Perch Lake and North Silver Lake.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
Cedar Lake is kicking out crappies around the docks. Find sunfish on the south end of French Lake in shallow water. Hit Shields Lake for crappies and sunfish in 10 to 12 feet, while Circle Lake is giving up a few crappies in 2 to 6 feet. Hit the bridge on Cannon Lake during the evening for perch, crappies, and white bass.
Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Reports from area lakes remain limited, but steelhead action continues to be good on the bigger rivers such as the Brule, Cascade, Flute Reed, and Devil Track. Trolling spoons at 100 to 120 feet has produced lake trout on Lake Superior.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
Crappies are being found in the bays or shallow weeds near spawning areas on Lake Wabana, Trout Lake, Little Moose Lake, and Lake Pokegama. Look for bluegills to be slightly deeper on most lakes and at the warm water discharge area of the Mississippi River.
Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281
GREY EAGLE AREA
Anglers are catching crappies and sunfish in the bays and around most docks at Mound Lake, Pine Lake, Big Swan Lake, Moose Lake, Two Rivers Lake, and Big Birch Lake. Panfish reports have been favorable throughout the area.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Ten Mile Lake, Pleasant Lake, Birch Lake, Woman Lake, and Webb Lake are all producing crappies and a few bluegills. Look for crappies in 3 to 6 feet and the bluegills in slightly deeper water.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
Panfish reports have been limited, but with the nice weather this week crappies should start showing up in shallow water. Lakes such as Stingy, Side, and McCormick are worth checking in less than 5 feet.
Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168
Water levels remain on the low side, but above average for this time of the year. Rock and navigational markers have been put in place throughout the lake and water temperatures should be in the 55- to 62-degree range for this weekend’s opener.
Gateway Store (218) 875-2121
Crappie action has picked up in 3 to 6 feet at Boy Lake, Lake Wabedo, and Little Boy Lake. You’ll find bluegills and crappies in the bays of Blackwater Lake and Mule Lake, or in the bays throughout the Woman Lake Chain.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
MADISON LAKE AREA
The north end of Lake Francis is producing crappies and sunfish in 2 to 6 feet. Mud Bay and Baker’s Bay on Lake Washington are giving up crappies in less than 8 feet. On Madison Lake, crappies are biting at the Buckmaster’s Bridge in the evenings and on Church Bar in 12 to 15 feet during the day.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
Crappies are being caught in 12 to 14 feet, but these fish should start moving to the shallow bays and shorelines throughout the week. Big Sandy Lake, Rat Lake, and Lake Minnewawa have provided the best bites so far.
Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits (218) 426-3382
Anglers are finding more sunfish than crappies on area lakes. Look to the shorelines of Knife Lake, Quamba Lake, and the Ann River for better numbers of fish.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
Trolling crankbaits on the mid-lake areas of Big Stone Lake has produced some walleyes during the day. The evening bite has continued to be best on the shorelines with slip bobber rigs or jigs tipped with minnows and leeches. Crappies are being plucked from the shallow rocks on the south end of Big Stone as well.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Crappies and sunfish have moved to the bays and shorelines throughout the area. Look to Long Lake, Fish Hook Lake, Eagle Lake, Island Lake, and the Crow Wing Chain of Lakes to all produce panfish in shallow water.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
A few days of nice weather have driven crappies and bluegills into shallow water on most lakes. Consistently good reports are coming from 2 to 6 feet on Dead Lake, Star Lake, Big Pine Lake, Loon Lake, Little McDonald Lake, Sybil Lake, and Big McDonald Lake.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Walleyes and a few sauger are being taken in 8 to 12 feet at the Head of the Lakes and upper third of Lake Pepin on crankbaits, leeches, and crawlers. Crappies are now in the sloughs and backwaters, as are some smallmouth and largemouth bass.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Sunfish and crappies are now being found in most bays or around docks. Lakes such as Long, Horseshoe, Cedar Island, Browns, Becker, Rice, Eden, and Mud have all been producing panfish in less than 6 feet.
Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Crappies and sunfish have moved into the shallow bays on most lakes. Reports have been consistently good throughout the area with lakes such as Sauk, Fairy, Maple, Osakis, Higgins/Long and others all producing panfish.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
Look for crappies in shallow water in the bays and along the shorelines of Fish Trap Lake and Lake Alexander. Pierz Lake is giving up sunfish in 3 to 5 feet, and catfish continue to bite on the Mississippi River.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
The Starbuck Marina on Lake Minnewaska continues to hold numbers of crappies and sunfish. You’ll also find some crappies in 6 to 8 feet throughout Fish Hatchery Bay on the Glenwood end of Minnewaska.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
Shallow water panfish aaction has picked up on most lakes. Reports have been excellent off the northwest shore of Diamond Lake, Willmar/Foot Lake, Eagle Lake, Henderson Lake, George Lake, Elkhorn Lake, Nest Lake, Lake Florida, Lake Andrew, and Norway/Games Lake.
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097
You’ll catch crappies and channel catfish on the shorelines of Lake Shetek and Bloody Lake. The shallow rocks on Lake Sarah and Island Lake are producing perch. Hit the south end of Yankton Lake and Lac Qui Parle Lake for crappies as well.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880