Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – March 9, 2018
LAKE MILLE LACS
Another round of snow early this week has limited lake access and wrecked road systems. The best bet is to call ahead and check with individual resorts to see if they’ve reopened roads. A snowmobile is a good option to get to the deep structure or deep-basin areas for tullibees and jumbo perch.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
As always, some anglers are doing better than others for walleyes, and some days are better than others. Most fish are being caught in 24 to 33 feet, and the fish are making a push shallower. Smaller presentations are working well tipped with shiners or chub heads. An auger extension is needed if fishing on your own, with 4 feet of ice now in most areas. The Rainy River is pushing out some bigger walleyes in the morning/evening hours. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes, sauger, perch, and northern pike are hitting during the day in 18 to 26 feet, or 16 to 22 feet during evening hours. In Ontario waters, crappies continue to be found suspended over 28 to 34 feet.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Look for crappies along the shallow weed edges or in the standing weeds, and sunfish in 8 to 12 feet on Lake Minnetonka, Medicine Lake, Lake Sarah, and Lake Independence. Panfish have started to move shallower on most lakes.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Fishing reports have been limited since the walleye season closed. There’s quite a bit of snow on the lake and there’s more than 3 feet of ice, so moving around and finding crappies has been difficult. The best crappie option is to utilize a snowmobile and head to the north side of Pine Island in more than 20 feet. Look for northern pike in Everett Bay and Stuntz Bay in 10 to 15 feet.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Snowmobiles or ATVs with tracks continue to be the best means of transportation due to deep snow. Some resorts have plowed roads, but travel off them is difficult, and it’s worth checking with resorts to see if they are allowing the public to access the lake on their roads. Perch reports have been best off Raven’s Point in 22 to 24 feet for better numbers of nice fish. You’ll have to do more sorting, but perch also are hitting on Center Reef in 17 to 20 feet or Moses Bar in 15 to 20 feet.
Another round of snow this week means that snowmobiles remain the best travel option until some road systems are plowed open – check with resorts on those. Some perch are being caught in 10 to 15 feet off Sand Point and Cedar Point in Walker Bay. The Hardwoods, Goose Island area, and Duck Points also are giving up perch in 9 to 14 feet. Expect to sort through some small fish. Tullibees are being found suspended over 30 feet off Stoney Point and the Paris Trench area.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
Anglers are taking advantage of the extended walleye season along the border. Sand Bay has been the most productive area, but it’s also the most accessible at this point. Farther east, anglers are hitting the area of American Narrows and Rainy Lake City and catching walleyes as well. The National Park ice road provides access to the Cranberry Bay area where large northern pike have been on the bite.
International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766
There hasn’t been much to report, and fishing pressure has dropped way off since the inland walleye season closed. Look for a few anglers to start chasing crappies on the deeper mud areas as we move deeper into March.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128
Twin Cities Metro
Fishing pressure has been limited since fish houses had to be removed. The few anglers heading out are catching sunfish in 8 to 10 feet on Demontreville Lake and perch on Lake Owasso. Crappies continue to be found suspended over 25 feet on Big Marine Lake, Big Carnelian Lake, and the St. Croix River.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
It’s been a slow stretch of fishing activity, especially since fish houses had to be removed. Portable anglers should look to Lake Susan for sunfish in 16 to 18 feet, Wasserman Lake for crappies in 12 to 18 feet, and Whaletail Lake for crappies in 14 to 16 feet.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
You’ll find sunfish and crappies scattered between 10 to 20 feet at Granite Lake, Clearwater Lake, Lake Sylvia, Lake John, Union Lake, Little Maple Lake, and Little Pulaski Lake. Generally, crappies have been slightly deeper than the sunfish on most lakes.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Snowmobiles and four-wheel-drive vehicles remain a must for getting around on area lakes. Look for sunfish in 8 to 12 feet on Bass Lake, Rush Lake, and Fish Lake. Some tullibees are being found suspended over 25 to 35 feet of water on Mollie Stark Lake and Clitheral Lake. Crappie reports have been best in 18 to 20 feet on West Battle Lake and Rush.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
This area received more heavy snow early this week, so travel by vehicles on area lakes is still difficult. Snowmobiles are still your best bet. The perch bite on Lake Bemidji and Lake Plantagenet is good in 8 to 18 feet with small jigs and waxworms. Look to Gull Lake, Pimushe Lake, Midge Lake, and Turtle Lake for a mix of bluegills and crappies.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172
Crappies and sunfish are being caught on the 8- to 15-foot weed edges and weed flats on North Long Lake, Nisswa Lake, and north end of Gull Lake. Look for perch in 6 to 10 feet on Hole in the Day Bay or north end of Gull. Tullibees are being found suspended over 40 to 80 feet, as are eelpout in 20 to 30 feet on the north end of Gull.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Perch remain active on the 8- to 12-foot sand/grass areas in Allen’s Bay and around Star Island on Cass Lake or the west side of Pike Bay Lake. Crappies are being caught on the north arm of Kitchi Lake, while sunfish are coming off the west and southeast corners of Kitchi, Dick’s Bay and Allen’s Bay on Cass, Midge Lake, and Grace Lake.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Crappies and sunfish are being caught in 10 to 14 feet on North Lindstrom and South Lindstrom lakes. Big Green Lake is producing crappies in front of the Girl Scout Camp and Lidberg Point area. On Chisago Lake, crappies are hitting on the south end in 5 to 15 feet, and the channel area on Little Green Lake continues to give up a few crappies.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
Bay Lake started giving up crappies after dark in 30 feet or more, and Upper Dean Lake is producing sunfish and crappies in 14 to 17 feet. Look to the west end of Huntington Pit for rainbow trout in less than 25 feet during the morning hours. This area again received significant snow early this week, so vehicle travel is difficult on all lakes.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Fishing reports have been light, mainly due to deep snow and drifts on most lakes, which is making travel difficult. Look to Floyd Lake and Lake Melissa for crappies in 15 feet and to Little Detroit Lake or Lake Sallie for sunfish in 10 to 15 feet.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
The Highbanks area of Fish Lake continues to produce crappies in 16 feet. Anglers fishing from shore on Lake Superior are catching some Kamloops off Stoney Point, McQuade’s Landing, and in the French River area. Floating crawlers off the bottom or Looper Bugs and spawn bags under floats are working best.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
Lake trout reports have picked up on Snowbank Lake over 30 to 60 feet and Burntside Lake over 30 to 40 feet. Look for suspended fish to hit frozen smelt, jigs, or sucker minnows. Snowmobiles or ATVs with tracks are needed on area lakes due to snow drifts and some slush pockets.
The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744
GREY EAGLE AREA
Travel options were limited to snowmobiles or ATVs with tracks early this week due to 10 inches of wet snow that fell. Anglers are walking on the north end of Long Lake and Moose Lake and catching a few sunfish. The north end of Big Swan Lake is giving up a mixed bag of panfish in 15 to 20 feet.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Birch Lake and Mule Lake are giving up sunfish in 10 to 15 feet. Work the north side of Webb Lake, Pleasant Lake, and Ten Mile Lake for crappies in 18 to 22 feet during the evening hours. With additional snow early this week, snowmobiles remain the best way to travel. Depending on the weather, trucks could be an option on some lakes by the weekend.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
Lake Inguadona is producing sunfish and crappies in 6 to 8 feet, and Lake Wabedo is giving up crappies over 35 to 40 feet. Woman Lake is kicking out a few more perch on the 8- to 10-feet sand or on the 30-foot mud. Lantern Bay on Woman is giving up better numbers of sunfish and crappies as well. After the most recent round of snow, most lakes again have some drifts to deal with, so you need to watch where you’re traveling.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
MADISON LAKE AREA
There was a lot of water on top of the ice last weekend due to melting snow, and this area received about 6 inches of snow on Monday, so the lake’s were slushy and difficult to navigate early this week. As a result, fishing reports have been limited, and it’s probably best to call ahead for lake condition reports.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
Knife Lake and Fish Lake are producing sunfish and crappies during the evening hours in 8 to 12 feet. This area only received about 4 inches of snow on Monday, so vehicle travel should remain an option this weekend.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
This area received about 10 inches of snow on Monday, but some roads have been plowed and additional roads should be open on Big Stone Lake by this weekend. The perch bite was starting to improve on the south end of the lake in 12 to 13 feet. Move around until you find a pocket of active fish.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Crappies continue to be found suspended over deep water or in 16 to 18 feet on Big Mantrap Lake and the Crow Wing Chain of Lakes. Bluegill action is slow, but eelpout are being caught on glow jigs and cut minnows at night on Bad Medicine Lake in 32 to 38 feet. Travel options have been compromised after Monday’s 8- to 10-inch snowfall, so call ahead for lake conditions heading into this weekend.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
With a fresh 10 inches of snow, snowmobiles are needed to move around on area lakes and even that’s been difficult due to slush in some areas. Once the snow settles, look to lakes such as Star, Dead, and Rush for panfish in 8 to 12 feet or for suspended tullibees over deep water on Loon Lake, Long Lake, and Star.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
While sauger action is slow, walleyes are biting well on the Mississippi River. Anglers fishing below the dam late in the day and after dark are catching good numbers of fish in 15 to 18 feet with jigs and plastics. Some northern pike and panfish are being pulled through the ice near Baypoint Park, while a few walleyes and sauger are being taken in the Frontenac and Maiden Rock areas. Some slush has developed under the ice. It’s sloppy, so watch where you’re traveling.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Long Lake starting giving up sunfish and crappies in 10 to 15 feet, while crappies continue to be caught on Rice Lake in 15 to 20 feet. Cedar Island Lake is giving up crappies and channel catfish in 10 to 25 feet. Look to Pearl Lake for crappies in 14 feet or Eden Lake in 20 to 22 feet.
Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Fairy Lake started giving up sunfish in the 8- to 12-foot weeds, and Long Bridge Lake is producing crappies in 14 feet. Grass shrimp continues to produce sunfish and crappies on the north end of Lake Osakis in 18 to 21 feet. Look to the northwest corner in 12 to 14 feet and the east shore in 10 to 12 feet for a mixed bag of panfish on Maple Lake.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
The number of people fishing has dropped way off since the permanent fish houses had to be removed. Those who are going out have struggled finding panfish, but look to the Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska for a few sunfish in 10 to 14 feet.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
Look for crappies and sunfish in 18 to 20 feet on Willmar/Foot Lake or perch on Big Kandi Lake in less than 10 feet. Fishing pressure has dropped considerably since shelters were removed, and additional snow has caused enough drifting to make travel on some lakes difficult.
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097
An additional 10 inches of snow fell on Monday, so travel options have become somewhat limited. Prior to the snow, crappies were being caught on Lake Shetek in 8 feet and Bloody Lake in 10 to 12 feet. Look for perch in 7 to 9 feet on Dead Coon Lake or 6 to 9 feet on Lake Sarah.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880