Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – March 2, 2018
LAKE MILLE LACS
Perch and tullibees are being caught off the deep mud and gravel areas in 25 to 32 feet. Often times, bigger pods of fish are being found off the structure in 30 feet or more in the main basin areas. Northern pike angling remains open with the bays and even deep structure producing fish. Check with resorts on road conditions, roads have been plowed, but traveling off them in some areas is difficult.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
This past week presented some good days and some OK days. Some schools are aggressive and attack a jig, while others are window watchers following jigs through the water column and just cruising through. Electronics are big right now, and most anglers are graphing fish all day in 27 to 33 feet on the south shore. The reefs to the west continue to put out fish as well. The Rainy River is putting out some bigger walleyes during the morning/evening hours with an occasional sturgeon. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes and sauger are hitting in 19 to 24 feet. In Ontario waters, crappies remain suspended over 28 to 32 feet off most points.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Panfish action has been sporadic with some sunfish being found tight to the weeds in 8 to 16 feet on Lake Minnetonka, Lake Independence, and Medicine Lake. Crappies are being found suspended over 15 to 25 feet during the evening hours on these lakes as well. The North Arm on Minnetonka and Independence are also giving up some crappies during the day in 20 to 25 feet.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Deep snow and drifts after last weekend’s snow has made it difficult to travel on many areas of the lake. Some roads have been plowed and a few walleyes are being caught just off the main roads in Big Bay off McKinley Park and out of Everett Bay in 22 to 30 feet. Snowmobiles are now the best option if you want to get to other parts of the lake.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Perch continue to be caught in 18 to 24 feet on main lake structure throughout the lake, if you can reach it. Off-road travel is not an option due to deep snow and you have to check with resorts for access availability. If you go off a public access, snowmobiles are your best transportation option.
Snowmobiles are the best travel option after last week’s snow with limited roads being plowed now that the walleye season is closed – check with resorts. Tullibees are being found suspended over 25 to 30 feet off Stony Point and the Paris Trench area. Perch action has been sporadic with some sorting involved. Look to Sand Point, Goose Island, the Hardwoods, and Duck Points in 9 to 14 feet.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
Walleyes are responding to live bait whether you are jigging or using it under a bobber throughout Sand Bay. Crappies also prefer minnows at this point, but have bit less consistently. With the Rainy Lake Ice Road now connecting the area of Black Bay and Cranberry Bay, anglers have been hitting the mouths of both bays targeting northern pike. Along the road, you can find some good structure for walleyes in 25 to 30 feet, especially at the east end of Dryweed Island.
International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766
With the walleye and northern pike season now closed angler traffic has been minimal. A few crappies and some keeping-size perch are biting on the 13- to 14-foot mud flats, but the bite is sporadic right now. Most of the winter ice roads are closed, so it’s best to call your intended access point for updates.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128
Twin Cities Metro
Fishing reports have been limited and travel on some lakes has become difficult after last weekend’s snow. Once the snow settles, look to Lake Jane for sunfish in 10 to 15 feet or Big Carnelian Lake for crappies over 25 to 30 feet.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
Whaletail Lake continues to produce crappies in 14 to 16 feet and Wasserman Lake is giving up crappies in 12 to 18 feet. A few sunfish are being caught on Lake Susan in 16 to 18 feet, and Rietz Lake is giving up crappies in 10 to 14 feet straight out from the access. Although some additional snow fell last weekend, vehicle travel remains an option on most lakes.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Look for crappies and sunfish in less than 10 feet or over 20 to 22 feet on Prior Lake. Fishing reports off other lakes have been limited and vehicle travel is good on some lakes and compromised on others after last weekend’s snow.
Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096
Sunfish are hitting during the day, as are crappies at night in 10 to 15 feet on Center Reef, Pillsbury Reef, and the south end weedline in Wagener’s Bay. Roads have been plowed, and if you avoid the large drifts, you can get around with four-wheel drive off the main roads. The marina will be closing on Sunday until the spring.
Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096
Lake Darling, Lake Le Homme Dieu, and Lake Geneva are producing crappies in 10 to 15 feet or 20 to 25 feet. Look to Maple Lake for crappies in 12 to 15 feet, while sunfish reports have been limited to a few fish off Cowdry Lake and Brophy Lake in shallow water. There are some roads plowed and you can get around on the majority of lakes with four-wheel drive.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
Additional snow last weekend has made traveling on many lakes more difficult, even with four-wheel drive. But once accesses and roads are opened and the snow settles a bit, lakes such as Clearwater, John, Indian, Granite, Sylvia, Little Maple, and Sugar are worth noting for panfish in 10 to 15 feet.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Crappies are hitting on West Battle Lake, Clitherall Lake, and Rush Lake in 18 to 20 feet. Look for sunfish on Rush, Bass Lake, and Fish Lake in 8 to 12 feet. A few tullibees are starting to be found suspended over deep water on Mollie Stark Lake and Clitherall. Snowmobiles or four-wheel drive are needed to get around on area lakes.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
This area received over 2 feet of snow last week, and travel other than with a snowmobile is very tough. But the warmer weather this week should settle some of the snow and make the lakes a bit more accessible. The shallower flats on Lake Bemidji and Lake Plantagenet are producing nice perch in 8 to 12 feet. There hasn’t been much else to report, as the snow has really limited fishing options.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172
The 20-foot mud areas on Blackduck Lake, Island Lake, and Round Lake are giving up perch. Look to Pimushe Lake and Gull Lake for crappies and bluegills in 18 to 22 feet. A few roads have been plowed on some lakes, but traveling off the main roads was difficult early this week.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
Fishing reports have been light, primarily due to last weekend’s snow. As the snow settles and roads are open on area lakes, look to Nisswa Lake, Cullen Lake, and the Hwy. 371 bay on North Long Lake for sunfish in 8 to 12 feet. The north end of Gull Lake is producing eelpout and tullibees over 30 to 40 feet. Crappies will continue to be found suspended over 20 to 25 feet on Hubert Lake, Nisswa, and Gull.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Crappies are being found in 15 to 20 feet on the west side of Pike Bay Lake, the northwest corner of Lake Andrusia, and in Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake. Sunfish are being found suspended over 20 to 25 feet on the north side of Kitchi Lake and west side of Pike Bay. The 6- to 8-foot sand/grass areas around Star Island on Cass, Grace Lake, and the northeast corner of Pike Bay are producing perch. This area didn’t receive as much snow and much of it blew off the lakes, so vehicle travel remains favorable.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Some roads have been plowed and off-road travel is difficult, but not impossible with four-wheel drive on most lakes. You should be able to get around on all area lakes by this weekend. You’ll find crappies on the south end of Chisago in the 5- to 10-foot weeds or suspended over the 20-foot holes. A mixed bag of panfish can be had from the 10- to 14-foot weeds on North and South Lindstrom lakes. Look to the channel on Little Green Lake or by the Girl Scout Camp and Lidberg Point area on Big Green for crappies.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
Unless there’s a plowed road or you have a snowmobile, it’s pretty tough to get around on most lakes. Fishing reports have been light as a result, but with the warmer weather this week, it’s likely the snow will settle enough for anglers to start getting on some lakes by this weekend.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
DETROIT LAKES AREA
With the snow continuing to pile up, traveling off any plowed roads with a vehicle is difficult. Little Detroit Lake, Lake Melissa, and Floyd Lake do have some roads open and they are giving up sunfish and crappies in 10 to 12 feet.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
This area received about 24 inches of snow, so moving around on most lakes is difficult, even with a snowmobile, due to slush pockets that have developed. There is a road plowed in the Highbanks area of Fish Lake, and some crappies are being caught in 16 feet.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
Crappies and yellow bass continue to be caught in 15 to 18 feet on Hall Lake, Budd Lake, and Lake Sissiton. Look to Big Twin Lake for perch in 15 to 20 feet and to Sissiton for a few bluegills in 12 to 15 feet.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
Look to Cedar Lake for sunfish and crappies in 18 to 20 feet, while the 30- to 35-foot hole on French Lake is producing crappies, most of which are suspended. Lake Mazaska is giving up crappies in 20 to 25 feet, and the bars on Shields Lake are safe bets for sunfish.
Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341
GRAND MARAIS AREA
The snow continued to pile up last weekend, so it has become quite difficult to get on most lakes, even with a snowmobile, due to slush. Anglers are walking on and catching rainbow trout with waxworms at Mink Lake and Kimball Lake in 15 to 20 feet and Leo Lake in 18 to 20 feet. Foot travel also is an option on Gunflint Lake, where lake trout are biting over 45 feet of water.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
GREY EAGLE AREA
Early this week, it was difficult to drive on most lakes with the snow filling in accesses and any ice roads that did exist. But the snow was settling quickly, so there should be more fishing options by this weekend. Look to Moose Lake for crappies and sunfish in 8 to 12 feet or the north end of Long Lake (by the Hub Supper Club) for sunfish in 8 to 10 feet. Hit Kings Lake for crappies in 18 to 20 feet or Big Swan Lake for bluegills and crappies in 15 to 20 feet.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Deep snow was limiting vehicle travel on area lakes this week, although some anglers are getting around with snowmobiles. Fishing reports have been limited, but the snow is expected to settle enough for four-wheel drive use by this weekend.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
Unless you have a snowmobile, there’s no chance of traveling on area lakes after another round of heavy snow last week. As a result, fishing reports have been nearly nonexistent, and will be until the snow settles.
Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168
Fishing reports have been limited since last week’s snow, and although a few roads have been plowed, traveling off them is nearly impossible. Most anglers are hoping the snow settles enough throughout the week so they can get on a few lakes by this weekend.
Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits (218) 426-3382
Another round of measurable snow has limited lake travel, and some slush has started to show up as well. With the warm weather this week, it’s likely the snow will settle enough to allow for some four-wheel-drive travel on select lakes by this weekend. Look to Ann Lake and Knife Lake for sunfish and crappies in 9 to 12 feet.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
Ice roads have been plowed, and with four-wheel drive you can get off the roads and travel to most areas. Perch action picked up a bit early this week with good reports coming out of 12 feet of water south of Laguna Beach and the Rocky Ledge area. There has been some good-size bluegills mixed in as well.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Big Mantrap Lake is producing crappies in 24 to 28, as is Sixth Crow Wing Lake in 18 to 22 feet. Look to Height of Land Lake for sunfish in 8 to 12 feet. Anglers have been limited to the few roads that exist on area lakes, and off-road travel is tough, even with four-wheel drive.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
More than 12 inches of snow fell here last week, but it is condensing, so traveling on most lakes with a four-wheel-drive vehicle should be an option by this weekend. Look to Dead Lake, Star Lake, Rush Lake, and Little McDonald Lake for panfish in 8 to 12 feet. Loon Lake, Long Lake, and Star are worth noting for a few tullibees over deep water.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Work the 18- to 22-foot current breaks during the day for sauger or the 12- to 15-foot current breaks for walleyes during low-light periods on the Mississippi River. A jig and minnow is working best, and Everts Access is wide open for boats.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Channel catfish continue to be caught on Horseshoe Lake and Cedar Island Lake in 10 to 18 feet during low-light periods and deeper during the day. Sunfish and crappies are being found in 8 to 12 feet throughout the Horseshoe Chain, while crappies are being caught on Rice Lake in 15 to 20 feet and Pearl Lake in 12 to 14 feet.
Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975
SAUK CENTRE AREA
The north end of Lake Osakis continues to produce crappies and sunfish in 18 to 21 feet – grass shrimp are a must for bait. The northwest corner of Maple Lake is kicking out sunfish in 12 to 14 feet, and Long Bridge Lake is giving up crappies early and late each day in 14 feet.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
Sunfish are being caught on Beauty Lake in 6 to 10 feet and Nokasippi Lake in 12 to 15 feet. Crappies are hitting over 20 feet on Fish Trap Lake, on the 12- to 15-foot weed edges and sunken islands of Thunder Lake, and along the 15- to 20-foot weedlines of Lake Alexander. Some roads have been plowed, and off-road travel should be good by this weekend with 4X4s.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
Sunfish continue to be caught on the Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska in 12 feet, but panfish action has been slow on other lakes. This area also received snow last weekend, but most anglers are getting around with four-wheel-drive trucks and snowmobiles.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
Willmar/Foot Lake is producing crappies in 18 to 22 feet, but other reports have been limited since last week’s snow. The snow didn’t pile up quite as much in this area, so moving around with four-wheel-drive trucks remains an option on most lakes.
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097
Perch, bluegill, and crappie reports have been limited although there haven’t been many people looking for them at this point. The good news is that moving around on most lakes is not an issue with four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880