Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – April 6, 2018

Great Eight


There’s still a lot of ice, but a lot of snow on top of it, so check with resorts on access availability. Fishing activity has been minimal with just the occasional tullibee or perch report off the deep mud and basin areas.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430


Ice fishing continues, with reefs to the west producing some nice walleyes, as are areas adjacent to the south shore. Shallows are producing nicely for the morning/evening bite, and fish deeper in the afternoon. Rippin’ Raps have been hot this week along with a plain hook and live minnow. Some ice roads are open to trucks, some only to ATV or snowmobiles, and some are closed. Big pike are being caught in pre-spawn areas and on top of reefs with live suckers, big smelt, or hot dogs producing best. Auger extensions are still needed. Rainy River spring fishing is in full swing, with Birchdale and Frontier landings now open to all boats, and the open water line is moving west more every day. Nice walleyes are being caught despite chilly temperatures this week. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes and sauger are hitting in 15 to 20 feet during morning/evening hours and 21 to 25 feet during the day.

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


Anglers continue to use ATVs on area lakes, but fishing pressure has been light. On Lake Minnetonka, crappies and sunfish are biting in Carson’s Bay and the North Arm in 13 to 16 feet or Black Lake in 8 to 10 feet. Crappies continue to be found suspended over 25 feet or more on Lake Independence, and Medicine Lake is producing sunfish in 8 feet.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227


Not much has changed from a week ago – plenty of ice, deep snow, and slush. This has resulted in very little fishing pressure, which has really been the case since the walleye season closed. There’s been a few reports of anglers on snowmobiles with portable shelters trying for crappies, but they aren’t finding much.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430


Fishing reports continue to be minimal now that most resorts have stopped maintaining roads and accesses for the winter season. Access remains tough and lake travel is difficult due to deep snow.

Lake Winnie Resort Association


Most accesses are holding up, but deep snow and pockets of slush on main lake areas means track vehicles are the best mode of transportation. For the most part, fishing reports have been very limited due to the minimal activity on the lake.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250


The launches on Rainy River are now open from International Falls downstream to Birchdale. The Ron Hall access is just downstream from the dam in International Falls and walleyes are being caught. Kuttes Landing at Pelland Junction is just upstream from the Little Fork River, where again, fish are congregated. At Birchdale, you are just below the Long Sault Rapids and that’s been the most popular spot on the river. Some anglers are still getting out on the ice of Rainy Lake, using tip-ups for big northern pike around the mouth of Black Bay. There’s also a good chance you will find walleyes and crappies here.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766


There’s been a few rogue crappie anglers out, mainly on the north end, with very little success reported. Those going are catching more accidental walleyes than crappies.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

Twin Cities Metro


Anglers have been reduced to walking out on all lakes as shorelines are opening and main lake ice on some lakes is getting questionable. Hit the reefs on Lake Waconia in 10 to 15 feet for crappies and sunfish or Whaletail Lake for crappies in 10 to 12 feet. Some sunfish are being found on Lake Susan in 10 feet or Hydes Lake in 10 to 16 feet.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022


Despite good main lake ice, fishing pressure continues to be light. Some shorelines have pulled away so walking out is the best option, but there just doesn’t seem to be much interest in ice fishing at this point.

Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096



Hit Reno Lake in 8 to 12 feet or Lake Geneva, Lake Darling, and Lake Le Homme Dieu in 18 to 20 feet for crappies and sunfish. Little Mary Lake is producing crappies and sunfish in 7 to 12 feet. Trucks are being used on a few lakes, but ATVs are the better option on most lakes as some accesses have been beat up.

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


Fishing pressure has dropped now that anglers are limited to walking out or ATV use on area lakes. Crappies and sunfish are still being caught for the few venturing out. Look in 6 to 10 feet on lakes such as Clearwater, Pleasant, Sylvia, French, Cedar, Maple, John, Little Pulaski, and Silver.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297


Crappies continue to hit on West Battle Lake in 18 to 24 feet, while sunfish reports have been best on Fish Lake, Stalker Lake, and West Battle in 8 to 12 feet. Mollie Stark Lake and Clitherall Lake are producing tullibees over 30 feet. Most accesses remain in good shape and despite some additional snow since last week, trucks are being used on the majority of lakes.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596


Nothing has changed much from last week other than it’s been colder and ice was being made, not lost. Accesses on most lakes are in good condition, but snowmobile travel is still the best way to get around. Look for perch on Lake Bemidji and Lake Plantagenet in 8 to 18 feet. Tullibees are suspended and hitting on Bemidji over 30 to 40 feet.

Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172


With cooler weather over the past week, accesses are in fine shape and trucks are being used – just watch for pockets of slush. Crappies and bluegills continue to be caught on Pimushe Lake and Gull Lake in 10 to 15 feet. Perch are scattered, but biting between 8 to 15 feet or 15 to 20 feet on Round Lake, Island Lake, and Blackduck Lake.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636


North Long Lake and Nisswa Lake are producing sunfish and crappies in 8 to 18 feet. The north end of Gull Lake is giving up perch in 10 to 14 feet, eelpout over 25 to 30 feet, and tullibees over 40 feet or more. Most anglers are now using ATVs or snowmobiles to access area lakes.

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


Perch continue to be caught on the 6- to 8-foot sand/weed areas on the west and north sides of Star Island or in Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake. Bluegill and crappie action has been slow and some trucks continue to be used, but more anglers are going the snowmobile route at this point.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831


Walking out or ATVs remained options on most lakes early this week, but fishing pressure is minimal. Look to North and South Lindstrom lakes for a mixed bag of panfish in 8 to 10 feet. Chisago Lake, South Center Lake, and the Nelson’s Island area of North Center Lake also are kicking out panfish in less than 12 feet.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334


Look to Rock Lake, Little Detroit Lake, and Deadshot Bay for a mixed bag of panfish in 10 to 14 feet. You’ll find tullibees suspended over deep water on Long Lake, Sybil Lake, and Star Lake. Most accesses are in good shape, main lake ice has not deteriorated, but most anglers have started using ATVs or snowmobiles to get around.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248


Ice fishing reports have been limited to a few perch and bluegills in 10 feet and some crappies out of 15 feet at Fish Lake. There doesn’t seem to be much interest in ice fishing as some accesses continue to deteriorate. Kamloops action along the shore of Lake Superior has been strong near McQuade Launch, Stony Point, and mouth of the French River.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094


With the trout season now closed, fishing pressure has been light. A few anglers are fishing Saganaga Lake in 15 to 20 feet and South Fowl Lake in 5 to 7 feet for walleyes with limited success. There’s still plenty of ice, just not many people fishing it.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280


Tioga Bay on Lake Pokegama continues to produce crappies, bluegills, and perch in 13 to 26 feet. Work Little Cutfoot Sioux Lake or Big Splithand Lake for a mixed bag of panfish in 18 to 21 feet. Tullibees are suspended over deep water at Ball Club Lake, Jay Gould Lake is producing perch in 10 to 13 feet, and Bass Lake is kicking out bluegills in 6 to 15 feet. Trucks continue to be used on all lakes as accesses have not deteriorated at all.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281


The northwest end of Maple Lake started giving up sunfish in the 8-foot weeds, while crappies are going on the south end in 12 to 15 feet. Long Lake, by the Hub Supper Club, continues to give up a few sunfish in 6 to 8 feet and crappies in 12 to 15 feet. Snowmobiles and ATVs are being used throughout the area, but fishing pressure has been limited.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405


Crappies and a few sunfish are being caught early and late each day in 16 to 22 feet on Child Lake, Pleasant Lake, Birch Lake, and the north side of Webb Lake. Shorelines remain tight and lake conditions are fine for ATVs and snowmobiles, but fishing pressure remains light.

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


With the exception of those heavily-used accesses, most are in good shape and trucks are being used on many lakes. Fishing reports have been limited to some perch being caught on the west side of Government Point on Woman Lake in 6 to 8 feet. Lantern Bay and Broadwater Bay on Woman are giving up bluegills as well.

The One Stop (218) 363-2252


Many access points are no longer in good enough shape for any type of motorized vehicle travel, but walking out remains an option. With that stated, this area received another 10 inches of snow last weekend so there hasn’t been many people heading out.

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


Most accesses have held up well this week, some trucks are being used on certain lakes, but snowmobiles or ATVs are the better option on most. Bluegills are hitting on Sixth Crow Wing Lake in 10 to 12 feet of water, and crappies remain suspended over 20 to 25 feet of water on Big Mantrap Lake. Look for sunfish in 10 to 12 feet of water or crappies over 18 to 24 feet of water on Fish Hook Lake.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099


Fishing pressure has been very limited even though ice conditions and accesses remain in good enough shape for ATVs, and on some lakes, trucks are still being used. Look to Star Lake and Rush Lake for panfish in 10 to 14 feet. Tullibees also are being found suspended over deep water on Star and Little Pine Lake.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355


Angling pressure on the Mississippi River has been lighter this week, mainly do to poor weather conditions. Those going are catching more sauger and better numbers of bigger walleyes on three-way rigs and crankbaits or jigs and plastics. Look below the dam or on the current breaks from Red Wing to Lake Pepin in 15 to 20 feet.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334


Anglers continue to walk out or use ATVs on some lakes, but you really have to watch the accesses as many have started to pull away. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough people going out to get much for reports and those that have are reporting slow panfish action.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975


Grass shrimp continue to produce crappies and sunfish on the north end of Lake Osakis in 16 to 19 feet. The north side of Fairy Lake started giving up sunfish in 8 to 10 feet and the northwest corner of Maple Lake is kicking out sunfish in 10 feet. ATVs remain the best travel options due to some marginal accesses.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155


Despite good shoreline and access ice, there hasn’t been many people fishing. Deep snow on the lakes and the fact that most accesses haven’t been plowed has limited fishing activity.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056


Most shorelines continue to be in good enough shape for ATV use, but the number of people fishing continues to decline. The few going out are finding some sunfish on the Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska in 10 to 14 feet.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239


There hasn’t been enough people fishing over the past week to put together any type of report. While plenty of ice remains and shorelines remain suitable for ATV use, there seems to be little interest in fishing through the ice at this point.

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


Although some shorelines and access points have pulled away, most are still in good enough shape for walking or ATVs. But based on the number of people fishing, interest in ice fishing is minimal for the majority of people.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

Categories: MInnesota Fishing Reports, News