Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report for Dec. 14, 2018
LAKE MILLE LACS
East – The southern bays have 10 to 13 inches of ice, while the main lake has thinner ice and some cracks – most people are fishing within one mile of shore. Walleye reports have been best with jigging spoons during the evening hours on the 12- to 18-foot shoreline breaks. Tip ups and sucker minnows are turning pike in the bays over 12 feet, and decent numbers of 9 to 11-inch perch are being caught in the bays during the day as well.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
West – Ice depths are now 7 to 9 inches on most of the lake, but anglers haven’t been traveling far to catch fish. There are ATVs being used on the lake, but if you plan on hitting the flats, bring planks in case of cracks. Walleye fishing has been best on rock points and piles in 16 to 27 feet. The bays also are producing fish in 18 to 24 feet with some perch mixed in.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Good numbers of walleyes and sauger are being caught along the south shore in 17 to 25 feet. Resorts have marked trails for ATV, UTV and snowmobiles, while others are transporting guests with light ice rigs and no vehicle traffic, yet. A combination of jigging spoons and deadsticks with a live minnow are working. Ice depths range from 9 to 14 inches where resorts are fishing. There is a big crack 8 miles off Pine Island stretching to Long Point. Stretches of the Rainy River and Four Mile Bay have unsafe ice due to current. Reports of northern pike are still coming in from most bays. At the Northwest Angle, the ice road is open from Young’s Bay to Flag Island and other areas still need more ice before vehicle traffic is allowed.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Crappie action has picked up in 18 to 20 feet on Lake Independence, Seton Bay and Carson’s Bay on Lake Minnetonka, and Medicine Lake. You’ll find sunfish in 8 to 10 feet on these lakes as well. Tip ups and sucker minnows are producing northern pike in 18 feet at Medicine Lake. Ice depths vary from 2 to 8 inches so you need to check it as you go.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Walleyes are hitting best during the evening hours on Fish House Reef in Big Bay and the mouth of Pike Bay in 20 to 22 feet – jigging and setlines are both working. Northern pike action has picked up in Stuntz Bay, Larson Bay, Frazier Bay, and Everett’s Bay in less than 12 feet. Most spots now have 10 to 12 inches of ice, but there are some areas on the main lake with less ice, so you still need to use caution.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Ice conditions continue to be good with at least 8 to 10 inches reported out from shore where people have been fishing. Northern pike and perch remain active along the west shore in 8 to 10 feet and expect anglers to start venturing farther out onto the lake soon with the good ice.
The main lake now has areas with 10 to 14 inches of ice. Walker Bay is capped with 8 to 10 inches around the shorelines, but thinner ice the farther out you go, so you need to watch where you travel. Spoons and hole hopping is producing walleyes on the south end rocks in 10 to 14 feet. The Sand Point area is giving up perch and a few walleyes in 6 to 10 feet. Look to Trader’s Bay in 12 to 15 feet for perch and a few walleyes as well.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
Some anglers are walking on the protected bays of Rainy Lake and trying for walleyes using jigs and minnows, but success has varied a lot. With freezing temperatures and little snow in the forecasts, ice should be improving on a daily basis.
The walleye bite has slowed some from early ice, but good numbers of walleyes are still coming in. The bite also has spread out from the 8- to 12-foot gravel bars to the 13- to 15-foot mud flats. There is some daytime activity with low-light periods providing a stronger bite. ATVs are being used and some light truck traffic is starting on the 12 to 14 inches of ice in most areas.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128
JR’s Corner Access (320) 290-3838
Twin Cities Metro
The Bayport area of the St. Croix River continues to produce crappies in 20 to 40 feet. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows in 6 to 10 feet on Demontreville Lake, Silver Lake, Beaver Lake, and Mud Lake. Walleye reports have been limited, but it’s been tough getting to many good spots due to ice conditions. Most lakes being fished have 4 to 6 inches of ice.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
Panfish are being caught in 8 to 12 feet of water at Lake Minnewashta, Lake Parley, Whaletail Lake, and Lake Zumbra. Tip ups and sucker minnows are turning northern pike at Piersons Lake, Lotus Lake, and Zumbra in 12 to 14 feet of water. Anglers are finding 6 inches of ice on the areas they’ve been fishing, with a bit less on several large lakes.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
The marina is now open for the season. There’s a small pocket of open water off Center Reef, some 4 inch ice on the main lake, but the spots being fished have 6 to 10 inches of ice. The area between the two marinas in Waconia Bay is giving up a few walleyes in 16 to 20 feet, as is the hump north of it in 14 feet. Northern pike are hitting in Waconia Bay over 12 to 14 feet and there has been a few panfish in the mix here as well. Look to the 12- to 14-foot weedline on the south side of Wagener’s Bay for sunfish and crappies as well.
Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096
Ice depths haven’t changed much since last week with 3 to 9 inches on area lakes. Lake Ida and Lake Miltona are giving up walleyes over 20 to 40 feet during the evening hours. The bay on Reno Lake is giving up crappies and sunfish in less than 10 feet, Lake Le Homme Dieu is producing crappies over 20 feet, and most small lakes are giving up sunfish and northern pike in 10 to 12 feet.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
Granite Lake, Pleasant Lake, Lake John, and Little Maple Lake are kicking out sunfish and crappies in 18 to 21 feet. Look to Clearwater Lake, Buffalo Lake, and Pleasant for walleyes in 16 to 24 feet – spoons and shiner minnows are both working. Cedar Lake, Lake Francis, Granite, and Clearwater are safe bets for northern pike in 8 to 15 feet. Most lakes now have 6 to 8 inches of ice, but there’s still some pockets of water on some big lakes.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Walleyes are hitting spoons after dark on Otter Tail Lake, West Battle Lake, and Pelican Lake in 20 to 30 feet. Look for suspended sunfish and crappies over 15 to 20 feet at Rush Lake, West Battle, Fish Lake, and Walker Lake. East Lost Lake is kicking out sunfish in 12 feet. Tip ups and sucker minnows are producing northern pike in 18 to 20 feet on South Turtle Lake and West Battle. The lakes being fished have 7 to 11 inches of ice.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
There is 10 to 12 inches of ice on most lakes and some bigger wheel houses have started being pulled out. The walleye bite on Lake Bemidji has been on and off, but early and late in the day has been best with jigging spoons and minnow heads in 12 to 18 feet. Look to Lake Plantagenet, Big Lake, and Lake Julia for a few walleyes in 12 to 16 feet as well.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172
Island Lake and Blackduck Lake are giving up walleyes on Jiggin’ Raps in 10 to 14 feet during the evening hours. You have to do some sorting, but perch are being caught during the day on both lakes as well. Look to Gull Lake for crappies and bluegills or Pimushe Lake for bluegills in 16 to 20 feet. Area lakes now have 9 to 13 inches of ice and ATVs are being used on most.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
Crappies are hitting on North Long Lake, Round Lake, Cullen Lake, and Nisswa Lake in 8 to 20 feet on glow jigs and minnows. Eurolarvae and small jigs are producing sunfish at North Long and Nisswa in 9 to 15 feet. Lakes such as Gull, North Long, and Cullen are safe bets for northern pike in 8 to 15 feet on tip ups and sucker minnows. Walleyes are hitting spoons or rainbow minnows in 14 to 22 feet at North Long, Round, and Gull. Ice depths vary, especially on the main portion of Gull, but 8 to 12 inches is being found on most areas being fished.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Pike Bay Lake is giving up perch on the 6- to 8-foot sand and walleyes during the evening hours in 16 to 18 feet. The weedlines on Midge Lake and Grace Lake are producing numbers of northern pike and some panfish, while the 16-foot breaklines on Cass Lake are worth hitting for walleyes during low-light periods. Ice conditions are good with ATVs being used on area lakes.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
The channel between Chisago Lake and South Lindstrom Lake continues to produce panfish, northern pike, and a few walleyes in 8 to 12 feet. The Pancake Island area on South Center Lake is giving up panfish, pike, and an occasional walleye in 6 to 10 feet. Hit the south end of Chisago in 8 to 12 feet for panfish and works towards the channel on Little Green Lake for crappies in 12 to 15 feet. It depends on the lake and area within it, but 5 to 10 inches of ice has taken hold – anglers continue to walk out.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
Look to Rabbit Lake, Nokay Lake, Bay Lake, and Serpent Lake early and late each day with spoons for walleyes in 16 to 22 feet. Crappies and northern pike are hitting at Upper Dean Lake in 14 to 17 feet. You’ll also find crappies on Big Mahnomen Lake during low-light periods in 15 feet or more and the north end of Bay in 16 feet. Anglers are reporting 7 to 9 inches on most lakes.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
Crappies are being caught during the evening hours with glow jigs and minnows on Fish Lake over 20 feet. Boulder Lake is giving up a few walleyes on chubs or shiners in 10 feet, while Rice Lake remains a safe bet for northern pike on sucker minnows in 6 feet. Most lakes have 8 to 11 inches of ice so ATVs are being used.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Hit Green Lake for crappies over 24 feet during the evening hours. A few walleyes and panfish are coming off Little Elk Lake in 6 to 10 feet. Sucker minnows and tip ups are producing northern pike on Fremont Lake in 7 feet. You’ll find 6 to 8 inches of ice on area lakes.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985
Northern pike action is strong with sucker minnows on Shagawa Lake in less than 15 feet, just outside the weeds. Shagawa also is producing walleyes in 20 to 30 feet on shiner and rainbow minnows. Fall Lake is kicking out walleyes in 18 feet as well. Bass Lake and Stub Lake are producing crappies over 20 feet. Most lakes have 9 to 11 inches of ice and some bigger fish houses have started being pulled out.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows in 15 feet on Lake Washburn and Kego Lake in 18 feet. Lawrence Lake is giving up crappies in 12 to 14 feet during the morning hours on minnows. Look to the north end of Lake Esquagamah for sunfish in 12 to 14 feet and West Fox Lake started giving up walleyes during the evening hours in 10 feet. Anglers are reporting 6 to 10 inches of ice where they’ve been fishing.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
You’ll find 6 to 7 inches of ice and ATVs are being used on some lakes. Hit Hall Lake, Budd Lake, and Lake Sisseton for crappies and yellow bass in 15 to 17 feet. Sisseton and Budd are giving up a few bluegills in 15 feet as well. Look to Cedar Lake for walleyes and northern pike in 4 feet.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
Circle Lake started giving up panfish and northern pike in 8 to 10 feet, while Shields Lake is kicking out sunfish, crappies, and an occasional walleye on the 8- to 12-foot humps. Look to Cedar Lake for crappies in 12 feet, and Cannon Lake is producing a few perch in 8 to 10 feet. Ice depths vary from 3 to 10 inches so you need to check it as you go.
Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341
FERGUS FALLS AREA
Pelican Lake is kicking out walleyes and crappies in 10 to 13 feet, while Wall Lake continues to give up sunfish and crappies in 10 feet. Pebble Lake is worth hitting for walleyes in 16 to 20 feet, and northern pike remain active in shallow water on Swan Lake and Wall. Ice depths vary from 6 to 10 inches on most lakes.
Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Walleyes are hitting minnows on setlines at South Fowl Lake in 4 to 6 feet, Hungry Jack Lake in 12 feet, Crescent Lake in 12 to 15 feet, and Two Island Lake in 10 to 15 feet. Sucker minnows are producing northern pike at Devil Track Lake in 6 to 12 feet and Poplar Lake in 4 to 10 feet. Most lakes have 8 to 12 inches of ice, but the big lakes still have spots with less than 4 inches of ice.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
GREY EAGLE AREA
Walleye action has picked up on Cedar Lake in 22 to 25 feet and Mound Lake in 15 to 20 feet. Look to Moose Lake for crappies in 12 to 14 feet, Maple Lake for sunfish and crappies in 15 feet, and the north end of Big Swan Lake for crappies in 20 to 22 feet. Hunter’s Bay on Big Birch Lake is producing northern pike and sunfish over 6 to 8 feet. Most lakes have 7 to 9 inches of ice, but the main portions of the big lakes such as Birch have less ice.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Anglers are reporting up to 12 inches of ice on the small lakes, with 6 to 8 inches on the bigger bodies of water. Walleyes are hitting minnows on setlines or jigging baits on Birch Lake, Pleasant Lake, Baby Lake, and Pine Mountain Lake in 18 to 22 feet. Birch continues to give up bluegills during the morning hours in 14 to 18 feet, as is Pleasant in 14 to 18 feet. Look to Stoney Lake, Child Lake, and Birch for suspended crappies over deep water. Suckers or shiners are producing pike on most lakes in less than 10 feet.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
A solid 6 to 10 inches of ice is being found throughout the lake. Working soft-bottom areas during the day and then fishing edges of reefs early morning and just before dark has been turned walleyes. Jigging aggressively is the ticket one day and the next almost everything is taken on a plain hook and minnow. Spear fishermen are having a great start to the season. There are reports of 40-plus-inch pike in the bays.
Gateway Store (218) 875-2121
Anglers are reporting 6 to 12 inches of ice on area lakes. Perch have started hitting in Broadwater Bay on Woman Lake in 6 to 8 feet. Crappies are active during the evening hours at Girl Lake in 12 to 15 feet, Lake Wabedo over 35 feet, and Big Sand Lake in 15 to 18 feet. Bluegills remain active on Mable Lake in 10 feet. The shoreline points on Little Boy are giving up walleyes during low-light periods in 16 to 20 feet – spoons and minnow heads are working best.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
MADISON LAKE AREA
Church Bar on Madison Lake is producing crappies and walleyes in 18 to 20 feet, and the 6-foot weeds in East Bay are holding northern pike and bluegills. Lake Washington is producing bluegills and crappies over the deep hole in Baker’s Bay, and walleyes are hitting off Third point in 18 to 20 feet. Look to Duck Lake for crappies and sunfish during the evening hours in 15 to 17 feet. Ice varies from skim ice to 9 inches.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
There’s a decent sunfish bite during the afternoon hours at Knife Lake in 6 to 8 feet. Northern pike are being taken with sucker minnows on Fish Lake in 4 to 6 feet. Sunfish and crappies have started biting on Lori Lake in 7 to 9 feet. Anglers are reporting a consistent 8 inches of ice on the lakes being fished.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
Big Stone Lake now has 10 to 12 inches of ice in the areas being fished. Perch and bluegills are being caught on Big Stone in 13 feet throughout the Meadowbrook area. It’s been a light bite, so small jigs and spikes are working best.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
A few walleyes are being taken on Fish Hook Lake during low-light periods in 22 to 24 feet with rainbow or shiner minnows. Northern pike are active on Big Mantrap Lake and Portage Lake in less than 12 feet. Look to Lake Itasca for crappies over 25 to 30 feet and Boulder Lake in 20 to 25 feet. Third and Fourth Crow Wing lakes are giving up sunfish in 8 to 10 feet. You’ll find 8 to 12 inches of ice on the spots people are fishing.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
Most lakes now have 10 to 12 inches of ice. Walleyes are hitting spoons and setlines with shiner minnows on Big Pine Lake, Little Pine Lake, and Rush Lake in 14 to 22 feet. Hit Dead Lake, Star Lake, and Walker Lake for crappies and bluegills in 12 to 20 feet. Big Pine also is producing crappies over 32 to 40 feet. Northern pike spearing and angling has been good on most lakes in less than 12 feet.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Crappies and sunfish are being found in the marinas and backwater areas in town where 7 inches of ice has formed. On the Mississippi River, sauger have been more active than walleyes, hitting a jig and minnow from Red Wing to the dam in 18 to 20 feet.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Lake Koronis is producing walleyes and crappies, behind the islands, in 10 to 20 feet. A few walleyes also are coming off Rice in 16 to 22 and the 22-foot hole is giving up some crappies. Look to Horseshoe Lake for walleyes in 10 to 16 feet and Schneider Lake for sunfish and crappies in less than 10 feet. Grand Lake and Pearl Lake are giving up panfish in 6 to 10 feet, and Grand is giving up a few walleyes in 22 to 26 feet. Anglers are reporting varying ice depths from 3 to 9 inches on area lakes.
Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Work the 8-foot weedline or 18 feet on the north end of Lake Osakis and the west end of Maple Lake in 12 to 15 feet for sunfish. Crappies are hitting on Long Bridge Lake in 14 to 18 feet, or being found suspended over deep water in Red Barn Bay and off Diamond Point on Big Sauk Lake. Small sucker minnows or spoons are producing walleyes on Big Sauk in 12 to 14 feet. You’ll find 9 to 11 inches of ice consistently throughout the area.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA
Most lakes have 6 inches of ice, with a bit less on the main portions of the big lakes. The bays on Fish Trap Lake are giving up crappies and sunfish and Green Prairie Lake is kicking out sunfish in 8 to 10 feet. Look to Lake Alexander for a few walleyes during the evening hours in 15 to 18 feet.
Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056
Walleyes continue to be caught during low-light periods, especially late at night on Lake Minnewaska in 18 to 22 feet. The Glenwood of Minnewaska continues to produce sunfish and crappies in 14 to 16 feet, while Lake Villard is producing sunfish and crappies in 14 feet. Ice depths haven’t improved much since last week, but 10 to 12 inches is pretty common on area lakes.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
Anglers are reporting 5 to 7 inches where they are fishing, so it is not advised to pull out large fish houses at this point. The fish hatchery bay on Lake Tetonka is giving up perch and walleyes in less than 6 feet. Lake Elysian is producing walleyes and crappies in 9 feet during low-light periods.
Axel’s Tackle Box (507) 213-1873
Willmar/Foot Lake is producing walleyes and crappies in 10 to 14 feet, while the west side of Norway Lake is giving up a few walleyes in 6 to 10 feet. Look to Ringo Lake for walleyes and crappies in less than 10 feet or Solomon Lake and South Long Lake for walleyes in 6 to 10 feet. Big Kandi Lake and Lake Lillian are giving up perch and walleyes in 4 to 6 feet, while lakes Minnetaga and Kasota are producing walleyes in about 6 feet. It depends on the lake, but there’s 4 to 9 inches of ice.
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097
You’ll now find 5 to 9 inches of ice on most lakes. Hit 6 to 10 feet on Lake Shetek for crappies or Lake Sarah for walleyes, perch, and crappies. Lake Lac qui Parle is kicking out crappies and walleyes in 11 feet. Walleyes also are going in less than 10 feet on lakes such as Lady Slipper, School Grove, Dead Coon, and Rock. Glow spoons have been the ticket on all lakes for walleyes.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880