Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report for Dec. 7, 2018
LAKE MILLE LACS
East – The southern bays such as Twin, Isle, Wahkon, and Cove have 6 to 9 inches of ice – anglers are walking out with some ATV use, but check with resorts. The farther out you go, the thinner the ice gets. The wind blew open a large area from Liberty Beach to Fisher’s Resort late last week. Walleyes are being caught close to shore, in the bays and along points in 11 to 15 feet. Numbers of perch, along with some 9- to 11-inch fish are coming out of Wahkon Bay, while tip-ups and sucker minnows are producing pike in the bays as well.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
West – The west end bays have 6 to 8 inches of ice, there’s 4 inches outside the bays and sketchy ice on the main lake. Walleyes are hitting on the 11- to 16-foot rock points during the day or in the bays during low-light periods in 10 to 20 feet. Setlines and jigging spoons both seem to be working.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Ice fishing is in full swing and the bite has been incredible with numbers of walleyes and saugers coming out of 17 to 24 feet. Resorts have marked trails for ATV, UTV, and snowmobile use and resort fish houses are on the ice. Reports have been excellent across the south shore from Pine Island, west to Zippel Bay with 9 to 12 inches of ice where resorts are fishing. The Rainy River and Four Mile Bay are capped, but higher-than-normal current makes river ice more dangerous. There are reports of pike coming from Baudette Bay and other bays. The Northwest Angle is locked up, but, as always, neck down and other areas with current are iffy. Some resorts have begun ice fishing with success.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Ice depths vary from open water on the main parts of most big lakes and 4 to 7 inches on the small lakes and bays. Anglers are walking on the Seton channel area of Lake Minnetonka and catching crappies or the south side of Carson’s Bay is giving up sunfish and crappies – 5 inches of ice is being found on these spots. Pike were taken with tip ups in 16 to 20 feet on Medicine Lake, where there’s 4 to 7 inches of ice.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Most bays have 7 to 9 inches of ice with a bit less on the main lake, but ATVs are being used. Walleyes are being caught on the 18- to 22-foot reefs just outside of Pike Bay, out from McKinley Park. Stuntz Bay is giving up a few northern pike in less than 8 feet.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Most of the west shore now has at least 8 inches of ice. Anglers are sorting through their perch and finding some nice fish in the process over 8 to 10 feet.
Walker Bay is capped and some foot travel has started close to shore. On the main lake, ice depths vary from 3 to 8 inches. There has been some perch caught in 6 to 10 feet in Kabekona Bay, around Shingobee Island, GrandVu Flats, and out from City Park in Walker Bay. Walleye action has been limited to a few fish off the south end humps.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
People are walking out in some areas with light gear and setting small houses for spearing and angling. Spearing is most popular around the mouth of Black Bay, but anglers are trying most of the small, easily accessible bays, where walleyes and crappies have bit.
International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766
Walleye action has been a bit slower than last week, but good numbers of fish continue to be caught in 12 to 14 feet. The fish are starting to push out a little and better jig colors are red, pink or gold. Walleyes also are coming from the 8- to 12- foot sand and gravel or 14-foot mud flats. The spots where people are fishing is covered with 10 to 12 inches of ice and ATVs are being used. As always, check with a resort or access point before venturing out.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128
JR’s Corner Access (320) 290-3838
Twin Cities Metro
Most small lakes have around 4 inches of ice and that’s mainly where people are fishing. Pike are being taken with sucker minnows at Demontreville Lake, Beaver Lake, Silver Lake, and Mud Lake in less than 10 feet. The Bayport area of the St. Croix River is giving up crappies over 20 to 40 feet.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
Ice depths remain spotty with 2 to 6 inches being reported, look for thicker ice on the small lakes. A few crappies are coming off Lake Parley in 12 to 14 feet and Whaletail Lake in 8 to 10 feet during low-light periods. Walleye and northern pike action has been slow.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
You’ll find 3 to 8 inches of ice on the lakes being fished, but thinner ice on portions of most big lakes. Look for walleyes on Reno Lake in 10 to 12 feet, Lake Geneva in 20 feet, Lake Miltona in 18 to 20 feet, and Lake Ida in 35 to 40 feet – glow or rattle spoons are working best. Little Mary Lake and Lobster Lake are giving up panfish in 6 to 8 feet. Lake Latoka is turning pike in 10 feet.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
Ice depths vary from skim ice up to 7 inches, it just depends on the lake so you really need to watch where you’re going. Anglers are walking on Little Maple Lake and Lake John, catching panfish and pike in 18 to 20 feet. A few walleyes are coming off Clearwater Lake in 16 to 20 feet and the flats on Pleasant Lake are producing panfish and pike – foot travel only.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
The small lakes have 8 to 10 inches of ice, while some big lakes such as Otter Tail and West Battle have 6 to 8 inches in spots. Crappies and walleyes are hitting during low-light periods on Rush Lake in 20 feet. Hit Otter Tail for walleyes in 15 to 20 feet or South Turtle Lake and Portage Lake for panfish in 15 to 20 feet.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Ice conditions are good with 8 to 12 inches on most lakes. Wheel houses are making there way onto area lakes – even on the larger bodies of water like Lake Bemidji. Lake Bemidji is producing walleyes, especially early and late in the day on jigging spoons and minnow heads. Some jumbo perch and a few tullibees are being caught here as well. Look to Lake Plantagenet and Lake Andrusia for walleyes and perch in 12 to 15 feet. Panfish action has been good on Pimushe Lake, Gull Lake, and Midge Lake in less than 16 feet.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172
Most lakes now have 10 to 11 inches of ice so ATVs are being used throughout the area. Walleyes are hitting spoons and setlines at Blackduck Lake and Island Lake in 8 to 12 feet. Look to Island and Round Lake for perch in 8 to 14 feet. Spearing and angling for pike has been good on Blackduck as well.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
Anglers are reporting 6 to 10 inches of ice where they have been fishing and some ATVs are being used on certain lakes. North Long Lake is kicking out walleyes on rainbow minnows in 20 to 28 feet and the Highway 371 Bay is giving up sunfish and crappies in 12 to 20 feet. Pike remain active in less than 10 feet on North Long, Cullen Lake, and south end of Gull Lake.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Walleye and perch action is strong during the morning and evening hours in Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake and Black’s Bar on Pike Bay Lake in 16 to 18 feet. Northern pike are being caught on the 8-foot sand areas of both lakes. Look to Grace Lake for bluegills and a few crappies in 6 feet. Anglers are finding up to 10 inches of ice where they’re fishing. Stay away from moving water areas.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
The bays and channels have 5 to 7 inches of ice, but there’s a lot less ice on the main portions of most lakes. The 8- to 12-foot weed edges on Green Lake are producing walleyes, as is the channel between Chisago Lake and South Lindstrom Lake in 8 to 12 feet. Hit the Pancake Island area on South Center Lake for northern pike and Little Green Lake for panfish in 15 feet.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
Ice conditions have stayed about the same as last week with 6 to 8 inches found where people are fishing. A few walleyes are coming off Rabbit Lake and Serpent lake during the evening hours in 15 to 18 feet with jigging spoons or shiner minnows. Lakes such as Black Bear, Black Hoof, and Mahnomen are producing crappies over 25 feet or more. Look to Milford Lake, Turner Lake, and Black Hoof for a few sunfish in 10 to 12 feet. Spearing for pike has been good in less than 10 feet.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Anglers are reporting 8 to 11 inches of ice on the lakes they’re fishing. Big and Little Detroit Lake are giving up crappies and a few walleyes in 10 to 15 feet during low-light periods. Look to Lake Melissa for sunfish in 6 to 10 feet and Cotton Lake for crappies and walleyes in 10 to 12 feet.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
Spoons have been the ticket for walleyes on Boulder Lake in 8 to 10 feet. Look to Fish Lake for crappies in 15 feet and to Rice Lake with sucker minnows for pike in 5 feet. Most inland lakes being fished have 6 to 8 inches of ice.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Despite some pockets of open water on the bigger lakes, anglers are walking on 7 inches of ice on the lakes where they are fishing. Little Elk Lake is kicking out small panfish in 7 to 10 feet and pike are taking sucker minnows on Fremont Lake in 7 feet. Look to Blue Lake for perch in 7 to 14 feet.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985
You’ll find 6 to 8 inches of ice on most lakes, but there’s still some thin ice areas on the big lakes. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows or alewives under tip ups in less than 10 feet on Birch Lake and Shagawa Lake. Shagawa also is producing walleye in 15 to 20 feet during the evening hours on deadsticks and shiner minnows.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
Most small lakes have 6 to 8 inches of ice, but some big lakes still have 4 inches around the edges, pockets of open water, and thin ice areas. Hit Upper Dean Lake with tip ups and sucker minnows for pike in 10 to 12 feet. On Lawrence Lake, crappies have started hitting in 18 to 20 feet, while West Fox Lake is giving up a few crappies as well.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
Most lakes have 4 to 6 inches of ice with 8 inches of fresh snow on top of it. As a result, slush has started to show on many lakes and that’s limited fishing opportunities. Anglers are walking on Hall Lake and Budd Lake and catching crappies in 8 to 10 feet.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
Ice depths vary from 2 to 5 inches and this area received about 5 inches of snow last weekend so anglers are limited to walking and using caution as they go. A few crappies are coming off on Kelley Dudley Lake in 20 to 25 feet and Cedar Lake in 12 to 16 feet. Look to Circle Lake for perch and a few walleyes from Union Lake in 8 feet.
Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341
FERGUS FALLS AREA
Ice conditions are good with 4 to 10 inches depending on the lake. Wall Lake is kicking out sunfish and crappies near the pencil reeds in 10 feet. Jewett Lake is giving up crappies and walleyes during the evening hours in 18 to 30 feet. Look to Swan lake for northern pike in less than 10 to 15 feet with tip ups and shiner minnows. On Fish Lake, walleyes are hitting during low-light periods in 12 feet.
Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050
GRAND MARAIS AREA
The majority of small lakes have 8 to 10 inches of ice, but some big lakes still have sections of open water. Walleyes are hitting minnows on Elbow Lake in 4 to 6 feet, Devil Track Lake in 12 to 14 feet, Crescent Lake in 10 feet, and South Fowl Lake in 6 feet. Hit Pike Lake with suckers for pike in 8 to 10 feet.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
GREY EAGLE AREA
The north end of Big Swan Lake is producing sunfish in 15 feet and crappies over 18 to 20 feet. Look to Maple Lake for sunfish and crappies in 12 to 15 feet. Big Birch Lake started producing walleyes in 18 to 20 feet. Hunter’s Bay continues to produce sunfish and pike in 6 to 8 feet. You’ll find on the bar out from the access on Mound Lake in 15 feet, while Moose Lake is kicking out panfish in 12 to 15 feet. Most small lakes and bays have 6 to 9 inches of ice, while most larger lakes have 4 to 6 inches in spots, with thin ice in some locations.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Anglers are finding 3 to 6 inches of ice on lakes that froze last with 6 to 9 inches on lakes that locked up earliest. Bluegills are being caught on Birch Lake, Mule Lake, and Stony Lake in 14 to 18 feet during the day, while crappies are hitting on these lakes during the evenings in 17 to 20 feet. Look to Pleasant Lake, Baby Lake, and Birch for walleyes in 18 to 24 feet – spoons or rainbow minnows are both working.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
You’ll find 7 to 12 inches of ice on most lakes. Shoepack Lake is producing crappies in 12 to 15 feet on minnows and Echo Lake is giving up crappies and a few walleyes in 10 to 12 feet. Hit Dewey Lake with waxworms for crappies in 15 to 17 feet in the evening.
Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168
Fishing reports are non-existent as the Park Service is still advising no travel on the lake. Most anglers are waiting for some colder temperatures and thicker ice, but a few have ventured out only to find numerous cracks and heaves limiting their travel. Ice thickness varies throughout the lake.
Gateway Store (218) 875-2121
Ice depths vary from 3 to 9 inches throughout the area and anglers are walking on most lakes. You’ll find walleyes during the evening hours on the shoreline points and breaks in 10 to 12 feet at Woman Lake, Little Boy Lake, and Big Boy Lake. Look to Girl Lake and Mable Lake for sunfish in 12 to 15 feet and Lake Wabedo is producing crappies over 34 to 36 feet during low-light periods.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
MADISON LAKE AREA
Depending on the lake, you’ll find 4 to 6 inches of ice and 8 inches of new snow on top of it, so slush has started to form. Anglers continue to walk out to the spots they’re fishing. Duck Lake is giving up crappies and bluegills in 13 to 15 feet, while the deep hole in Baker’s Bay on Lake Washington is producing a mixed bag of panfish as well.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
You’ll find 6 to 8 inches of ice on lakes throughout the area. Look to the island area on Fish Lake with tip ups and sucker minnows in 4 to 6 feet for northern pike. Panfish and walleye reports have been limited.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
Big Stone Lake now has 6 to 9 inches of ice where people are fishing. Perch action has been strong on the south end, basically the first four miles of the lake, in 12 to 13 feet. Work bigger baits such as Rippn’ Raps to draw them and small jigs with spikes or waxies once you find them.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Some small lakes have up to 10 inches of ice, while most big lakes have 4 to 6 inches. Fish Hook Lake is kicking out walleyes in 18 to 20 feet on deadsticks and shiner minnows. Northern pike action is strong with tip ups and sucker minnows on Portage Lake and Pickeral Lake in 8 to 10 feet. Look to Straight Lake, the Mill Pond, and Height of Land Lake for sunfish and crappies in 14 to 18 feet.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
Ice conditions continue to improve with most lakes now carrying 6 to 10 inches and some ATVs have started being used. Walleyes are hitting shiner minnows on deadsticks or glow spoons in 14 to 20 feet on Big Pine Lake, Little Pine Lake, Star Lake, and Rush Lake. Look for bluegills and crappies in the 12- to 15-foot weeds of Star and Rush, while the shallow weeds on most lakes are producing numbers of northern pike.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
People are walking on the marinas and backwater areas in town on 5 inches of ice and catching panfish. On the Mississippi River, a jig and minnow is producing saugers during the day and walleyes early and late in 18 to 22 feet from Red Wing to the dam.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Ice depths vary from pockets of open water up to 8 inches on some bays and small lakes. Extreme caution is advised as anglers are reporting inconsistent ice depths throughout the area. As a result, fishing reports have been limited.
Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Look for sunfish and crappies in 12 to 16 feet on Maple Lake or the north end of Lake Osakis in 17 feet. The north end of Big Sauk Lake is kicking out walleyes on colored-glow hooks and rainbow minnows in 11 feet or 19 feet. Most areas being fished have 8 to 9 inches of ice, but anglers continue to find spots with thin ice on these lakes as well.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
Ice depths vary from 5 to 7 inches on most lakes and anglers continue to walk out. Lake Alexander is producing small walleyes in 17 to 20 feet during the evening hours, while Green Prairie Lake is giving up sunfish and crappies in less than 12 feet.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
There’s still open water off Priest Point and the Starbuck Beach area on Lake Minnewaska. With that stated, ATVs are being used on some parts of the lake – you just have to know where you’re going. The Glenwood end of Minnewaska is giving up sunfish and crappies in 16 feet, and walleyes continue to hit throughout the lake in 18 to 20 feet during low-light periods.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
About 8 inches of snow fell here last weekend so slush has started to develop on area lakes with 4 to 6 inches of ice reported underneath it. Look to Lake Elysian for crappies and walleyes in 6 to 9 feet during evening hours.
Axel’s Tackle Box (507) 213-1873
On the lakes people are fishing, 4 to 8 inches of ice is common. Work Lake Minnetoga for walleyes, Lake Wagonda for perch and walleyes, and Big Kandi Lake or Lake Lillian for perch in less than 10 feet. Willmar/Foot Lake is producing a few walleyes and crappies in 10 to 15 feet. Lakes such as Solomon, South Long, and Ringo are giving up walleyes in 8 to 10 feet.
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097
Ice depths vary from 4 to 9 inches on most lakes, but this area received 6 to 10 inches of snow last weekend so walking out is wise. Lake Lac qui Parle is producing crappies and a few walleyes in 12 to 15 feet during low-light periods. Spoons and setlines are turning walleyes in 5 feet at Lake Sarah, Yankton Lake, Current Lake, and Lake Shetek.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880