Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – March 16, 2018

Great Eight


Fishing pressure continues to be light since the walleye season closed. Deep snow also is limiting travel options and there aren’t many roads plowed. Check with resorts for road options heading into this weekend.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430


Electronics continue to be a huge help as some walleyes are aggressive, others must be enticed, and some are suspended. The bite has been best in  24 to 33 feet and continues to push shallower. Small, glow presentations are working best tipped with a shiner or chub head/tail. Northern pike fishing is on fire with many 35- to 43-inch fish caught. The Rainy River is kicking out some bigger walleyes in the morning/evening hours with an occasional sturgeon mixed in. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes, saugers and pike are doing well in 17 to 19 feet late in the day or 21 to 25 feet during midday hours. Crappies are being caught in holes of 25 feet or deeper.

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


On Lake Minnetonka, crappies and sunfish are hitting in 16 feet in Carson’s Bay and the North Arm, while sunfish are biting in 8 feet in Seton Bay and Black Lake. Medicine Lake is producing sunfish in 10 to 13 feet, and you’ll find suspended crappies over 28 feet on Lake Independence.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227


Fishing reports continue to be limited, mainly due to tough travel conditions throughout the lake. Plowed roads are limited so snowmobiles and portable shelters are needed. Crappie and northern pike action has been slow as a result.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430


The Raven’s Point area in 10 to 15 feet or 22 to 24 feet and the main lake bars in 15 to 20 feet continue to be best for perch, but start looking for more fish to start showing up in shallower water. You also have to continue checking with resorts for road options, which are limited. Off-road travel is difficult.

Lake Winnie Resort Association


You have to sort through some small fish, but the Sand Point area is producing perch in 8 to 18 feet. Tullibee anglers continue to do well off Stoney Point, finding suspended fish over 30 to 40 feet. Other areas on the lake have been tough to get to due to deep snow and a lack of roads – snowmobiles remain the best travel option.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250


The Sand Bay area is most accessible so it continues to give up walleyes in 22 to 28 feet. Anglers with snowmobiles are traveling to other areas such as American Narrows and finding a few walleyes and northern pike as well.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766


Fishing pressure has been minimal since the walleye season closed and continued to be this week. Crappie reports have been nonexistent, but few have been looking for them.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

Twin Cities Metro


Look to Whaletail Lake for crappies and sunfish in 10 feet. Hit Pillsbury Reef and Center Reef on Lake Waconia for sunfish in 10 to 12 feet. The rock dock area on Waconia is giving up crappies in 12 to 14 feet. On Hydes Lake, crappies and sunfish are being caught in 10 to 14 feet.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022


Fishing reports have been limited to the north end of Prior Lake for sunfish in 12 to 22 feet. The backside of Kneassey’s Cove on Prior is producing sunfish and crappies as well. Fishing reports have dropped, mainly due to the lack of anglers heading out.

Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096



Lake Darling is producing crappies during the evening hours over 28 to 30 feet or 10 to 12 feet. Christopherson’s Bay on Lake Ida is giving up crappies and a few sunfish in 8 to 10 feet. Look to Smith Lake for sunfish and crappies in 10 to 12 feet and to Lake Le Homme Dieu for crappies in 18 to 22 feet. Deep snow continues to limit where anglers can get to on most lakes.

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


You’ll find suspended crappies in the “Black Pool” on Clearwater Lake early and late each day. Crappies and sunfish are being caught in 12 to 20 feet on lakes Sylvia, Union, Indian, Rock, Granite, Silver, and Clearwater. Look for sunfish during the day and crappies during low-light periods on the aforementioned lakes.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297


Crappies are hitting on West Battle Lake, Rush Lake, and Stalker Lake in 15 to 20 feet during low-light periods. Sunfish action has been best on East Lost Lake, Bass Lake, and Fish Lake in 10 to 12 feet. Look for suspended tullibees over 30 feet or deeper on Mollie Stark Lake and Clitherall Lake. Trucks are being used on most lakes, but there are some pockets of slush starting to develop.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596


Not much has changed since last  week. Travel on area lakes is still very limited and snowmobiles are your best mode of transportation. Not many folks have gone out, but those that do are catching perch in 8 to 12 feet on Lake Bemidji and Lake Plantagenet. Accesses are still in good shape, the problem is moving around once you’re on the lakes.

Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172


Blackduck Lake is producing yellow perch, crappies, and bluegills in 8 to 14 feet or 18 to 20 feet. Look to Island Lake and Round Lake for perch in 6 to 12 feet or 14 to 18 feet. Gull Lake and Lake Pimushe are giving up panfish in 16 to 20 feet of water. Travel conditions are improving with the warm weather, but you can’t just run anywhere on most lakes.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636


Crappies have started hitting on Round Lake over 8 to 15 feet, and the northeast corner of Gull Lake is producing perch in 6 to 10 feet. The north end of Gull is giving up eelpout in 20 to 30 feet and tullibees over 40 to 80 feet. Look for crappies and sunfish in 8 to 15 feet on North Long Lake and Nisswa Lake.

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


The edges of the bars on Pike Bay Lake and Cass Lake are producing eelpout during the evening hours. Look for perch on the sand/weed areas of Cass and Pike Bay in 8 to 10 feet. The north arm of Kitchi Lake is giving up crappies and bluegills in 6 to 12 feet.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831


North and South Lindstrom lakes continue to produce sunfish and crappies in 10 to 14 feet. Work the south end of Chisago Lake in 8 to 12 feet or the channel area on Little Green Lake for crappies. The Girl Scout Camp area on Big Green Lake is still giving up crappies as well.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334


The Deerwood end of Serpent Lake started giving up crappies in 15 to 18 feet. Big Mahnomen Lake and June Lake are producing sunfish and crappies in 10 to 12 feet. A few sunfish and crappies continue to come off Upper Dean Lake in 14 to 17 feet. Snowmobiles or walking out remain the best option due to deep snow and slush on most lakes, while trucks are being used on some – call ahead for lake conditions going into this weekend.

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


Look to Floyd Lake for sunfish and crappies in 10 to 15 feet. Star Lake and Long Lake started giving up better numbers of tullibees – look for suspended fish over 30 feet or more. Four-wheel drive trucks are again being used on most lakes.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248


Fish Lake continues to produce crappies in 16 feet and a few bluegills in 10 feet. If the ice blows out, anglers fishing from shore in various spots along Lake Superior are catching Kamloops rainbow trout and a few coho salmon. The French River area has been good when fishable conditions exist. Looper Bugs and spawn sacs under a float are working best. Deep snow continues to limit travel on many inland lakes.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094


Look for crappies on Green Lake in 20 feet or Little Elk Lake in 11 feet. A few sunfish and crappies have been reported on Ann Lake and Rush Lake by Ogilvie in 12 to 15 feet.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985


A few lake trout were being found suspended and hitting minnows on Snowbank Lake in over 40 to 60 feet and Burntside Lake in 20 to 50 feet. Crappie reports have been limited, but snow and slush is limiting travel on most lakes.

The Great Outdoors (218) 365-4744


Yellow bass and crappies were hitting on Budd Lake and Lake Sissiton in 15 to 18 feet of water. You need to start watching the accesses on some lakes, especially with the warm weather this week.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225


Shields Lake is giving up sunfish and crappies in 18 to 20 feet and Cedar Lake is producing sunfish over 25 feet. On the northwest corner of French Lake, crappies are being found suspended over 30 feet.

Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341


Rainbow trout are biting well on Trout Lake in 12 to 15 feet, Leo Lake in 15 to 18 feet, and Mink Lake in 12 to 16 feet – waxworms, minnows, or preserved minnows are working best. Lake trout action has been best on Gunflint Lake in 18 to 25 feet or 50 to 60 feet, Loon Lake in 40 to 45 feet, and Sea Gull Lake in 30 to 35 feet – minnows and smelt are producing fish. Snowmobiles are working fine, but you do have to watch for slush pockets.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280


Bluegills are hitting on Birch Lake and the north end of Mule Lake in 15 to 20 feet during the day. Look for crappies on the north side of Webb Lake, Pleasant Lake, and Stony Lake in 15 to 20 feet during the evening hours. Snowmobiles and ATVs are being used on most lakes, with some limited truck travel on a few.

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


Look to Mable Lake for sunfish in the 10- to 12-foot weeds and Big Boy Lake for sunfish in 12 feet. The first bay on Blackwater Lake is giving up crappies in 30 feet. The backside of Government Point on Woman Lake started giving up a few perch in 10 feet. Track vehicles are the best option on most lakes with deep snow and slush limiting travel.

The One Stop (218) 363-2252


Look to the Church Bar on Madison Lake for crappies in 20 to 25 feet. Baker’s Bay on Lake Washington is producing sunfish and a few crappies in 12 to 18 feet, while German Lake is giving up  crappies over 20 to 25 feet.

Corner Bait (507) 243-4464


Sunfish and a few crappies have started hitting on Lake Minnewawa in 8 to 10 feet and Big Sandy Lake in slightly deeper water. Snowmobiles remain the best option for travel as there are pockets of slush to avoid.

Willey’s Sport Shop & Spirits (218) 426-3382


The number of people fishing has been light, mainly due to slush that’s developed on many lakes. Some sunfish and crappies continue to be caught during the evening hours in 8 to 12 feet on Knife Lake and Fish Lake.

Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151


Fishing pressure has dropped since fish houses had to be removed. Stay on the move until you locate a pod of perch on Big Stone Lake. Look to the islands on the south end of the lake or the Sodak area in 12 feet.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480


Look to Fish Hook Lake for crappies in 22 to 26 feet and bluegills in 8 to 12 feet. Sixth Crow Wing Lake is producing crappies in 20 to 22 and bluegills in 8 to 10 feet. The north end of Big Mantrap Lake is giving up crappies in 22 to 28 feet. Anglers are limited to the above lakes, primarily because some roads have been plowed on them. If there isn’t a road opened, track vehicles are needed to move around.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099


Crappies and bluegills are being caught on Rush Lake and Star Lake in 12 to 14 feet. Tullibee action has picked up over deep water on Little Pine Lake and Star. The snow has settled enough to start allowing some trucks to be used on certain lakes, although snowmobiles or track vehicles are best on most lakes.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355


The Mississippi River continued to be very clear, so the early morning and evening hours have been best for walleyes. A jig tipped with plastics or minnows has produced numbers of walleyes and some sauger along the current seams in 16 to 20 feet during the day or 10 to 15 feet early and late. Numbers of bigger walleyes have been biting this week. Anglers also have been pulling some big northern pike through the ice in the back bays and marinas off the main river.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334


Crappies continue to be caught on Rice Lake in 10 to 20 feet, and Cedar Island Lake is giving up a mixed bag of panfish from 6 to 25 feet depending on the area. Becker Lake is producing sunfish in 10 to 18 feet, while catfish continue to be caught throughout the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes from the shallower shelves in less than 10 feet or you’ll find suspended fish over 20 feet or more.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975


The north end of Lake Osakis continues to give up sunfish and crappies, on grass shrimp, in 18 to 20 feet. Look to Maple Lake and Long Bridge Lake for a mixed bag of panfish in 12 to 14 feet. Guernsey Lake is producing crappies in 14 feet, while sunfish are being caught on Fairy Lake in 12 feet and Lilly Lake in 20 to 28 feet.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155


It continues to be pretty difficult to travel on most lakes due to deep snow and slush. Conditions are slowly improving and getting around should continue to get better with this week’s warmer weather. Green Prairie Lake is giving up a few sunfish in 10 to 14 feet.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056


Sunfish are being caught on the Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska in 12 feet from the Lakeside Ballroom up to Bottle Bay. Sunfish reports also have picked up on Little Mary Lake, Pocket Lake, and Grant Lake in 9 to 11 feet.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239


Fishing reports have been limited to a few sunfish and crappies off Diamond Lake and Willmar/Foot Lake in 18 to 20 feet. Eagle Lake is giving up some panfish in 15 to 20 feet, as is the northwest corner of Green Lake in 14 to 22 feet.

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


Lake Shetek is giving up a few crappies and some perch are coming off  Lake Sarah in 6 feet. Look to Fox Lake for perch in less than 6 feet. Lake conditions are slowly improving.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

Categories: MInnesota Fishing Reports, News