Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report for Dec. 28, 2018
LAKE MILLE LACS
Walleyes are being caught during low-light periods on the north-end sand breaks in 18 to 22 feet, the rock points on the west side in 10 to 12 feet, and in the southern bays over 10 to 14 feet. Midday reports have been best on the deep, rocky areas with setlines and small sucker minnows or spoons producing fish. Northern pike and some keeping-size perch also are being caught in the bays. You’ll find 12 to 14 inches of ice in most bays, and anglers are starting to venture farther out on some stretches of the lake where up to a foot of ice is being reported. Check with resorts for ice depths and active cracks before heading out.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Walleyes and sauger remain active along the south shore in 24 to 30 feet during the day, but there is some action in less than 20 feet early and late each day. Red-glow or gold spoons and setlines are both producing; it just depends on the mood of the fish on a given day. Ice conditions continue to be good, with up to 16 inches reported in some areas where resorts have their houses set up. Light vehicles, ATVs, and snowmobiles are being used. Stay on the marked trails and check with resorts for any changing ice conditions.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Crappies remain active during low-light periods, as are sunfish during the day in 18 to 20 feet in Carson’s Bay and Black Lake on Lake Minnetonka. Lake Independence is giving up some crappies each evening in 18 to 20 feet, and Medicine Lake continues to produce northern pike in 16 to 18 feet of water on sucker minnows. Ice conditions have improved a bit, with 4 to 8 inches being found where people are fishing most frequently, and less ice on the main portions of the bigger lakes.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
The reefs in Big Bay and the mouth of Pike Bay remain good options for walleye fishing in 20 to 32 feet, especially early and late each day. Northern pike are being caught and speared in less than 12 feet throughout Stuntz Bay and Everett’s Bay. ATVs are now being used on a bigger portion of the lake, and some small vehicles have started being seen as well. Twelve inches of ice is now pretty uniform in the areas being fished.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Vehicles have begun to be used on much of the lake, but you have to be aware of some heaves or cracks, so check with a resort before venturing out. Northern pike continue to be taken via angling and spearing along the shoreline breaks. Perch action has been up and down, but generally best in 15 feet or less. A few walleyes are being caught on the main-lake bars and humps during low-light periods.
There’s 14 to 16 inches of ice in the Trapper’s Landing area, and there are roads marked out to Huddle’s Reef, Diamond Point, and Roger’s Point. Ice depths continue to vary from 8 to 14 inches in Walker Bay and 12 to 16 inches on the main lake. Walleye action has been best with shiner minnows and setlines during low-light periods on the points and reefs in 14 to 18 feet. Stay mobile during the day in these same areas, but work deeper water with jigging baits.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
Some anglers are venturing onto the ice with snowmobiles or ATVs, but that means checking ice depth frequently. Those heading onto Sand Bay are finding some walleyes in 28 to 32 feet when using minnows and jigs. Some lightweight dark houses have popped up in Black Bay, but success for northern pike has been limited. Plow operators are still not convinced they should clear the ice roads, so access and fishing areas remain limited. Colder weather would improve access.
International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766
Fishing remains steady. It seems as if there are a couple slow days and then the next few days everyone is bringing in limits of fish. The night bite has improved, and dead-sticking seems to be a little better than jigging. Ice conditions are the same as they have been, with 14 to 16 inches just about everywhere. Single-axle fish houses and half-ton trucks are now out to the center bar, while tandem houses are allowed with half-tons in other areas. Some cracks and breakers exist, but resorts have them bridged in areas being traveled, so check with them before venturing out.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128
JR’s Corner Access (320) 290-3838
Twin Cities Metro
Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows in 8 to 10 feet on Mud Lake, Demontreville Lake, Beaver Lake, and Silver Lake. Crappies and an occasional walleye are being found in the Bayport area of the St. Croix River in 25 to 40 feet. Ice depths are slowly improving, with 7 to 10 inches now being found where people are fishing.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
Northern pike are being taken on tip-ups and sucker minnows in 12 to 14 feet on Lake Zumbra and Piersons Lake. You’ll find sunfish and a few crappies in 8 to 12 feet on Lake Minnewashta, Whaletail Lake, and Lake Parley. Thin ice still exists on some lakes, but anglers are finding 7 to 9 inches of ice where they’re fishing.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
You’ll hook crappies and a few walleyes during the evening hours on Lake O’Dowd in 25 to 35 feet. Look to Prior Lake for northern pike in 15 to 18 feet or panfish in 16 to 20 feet. Spring Lake continues to produce crappies early and late each day in 14 to 20 feet. Ice depths continue to be all over the place, but 8 to 10 inches is being reported on the aforementioned lakes.
Prior Lake Bait & Tackle
You still have to watch for open-water pockets or thin ice due to springs in some areas, but 7 to 12 inches of ice is the norm in most areas. Stop in and ask about those problem areas before heading out. Work the Harm’s Point area in Wagener’s Bay for crappies and sunfish in 10 to 12 feet. Some walleyes are being caught during the evening hours between the two marinas and in Waconia Bay in 12 to 14 feet. Waconia Bay also is producing panfish in 12 feet.
Mase’s In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096
Walleyes are being taken on spoons and setlines with shiner minnows in 35 feet or more on Lake Ida or 20 to 25 feet on Lake Miltona. The area’s smaller lakes have started giving up more sunfish in 12 to 14 feet, and crappies are most active during the evening hours over 20 to 25 feet on Lake Le Homme Dieu, Lake Mary, and Lake Darling. Reno Lake is producing crappies, sunfish, and a few walleyes in 12 to 15 feet. ATVs are being used on 10 to 12 inches of ice, but thin ice still exists on some of the big lakes.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
Low-light periods have been best for walleyes in 16 to 25 feet on Clearwater Lake, Buffalo Lake, and Pleasant Lake. Look to Cedar Lake, Lake John, Clearwater, and Pleasant with sucker minnows for northern pike in 12 to 16 feet. You’ll find sunfish in 14 to 18 feet and crappies over 16 to 22 feet on Clearwater, Maple Lake, Lake Marie, Granite Lake, and Pleasant. Although some thin ice still exists, anglers are finding 8 to 12 inches of ice in the areas being fished.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Glow spoons are turning walleyes during low-light periods in 30 to 35 feet on West Battle Lake, 15 to 20 feet on Otter Tail Lake, and 20 to 30 feet on Pelican Lake. Tip-ups and sucker minnows are producing northern pike in 16 to 20 feet on West Battle and South Turtle Lake. Look for sunfish in 10 to 12 feet and suspended crappies over 18 to 22 feet on Walker Lake, Fish Lake, and West Battle. Anglers are reporting 11 to 13 inches of ice where they’ve been fishing.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Walleyes and perch continue to be caught in 10 to 15 feet on Blackduck Lake and Island Lake. A mixed bag of panfish can be had on Pimushe Lake and Gull Lake in 15 to 20 feet or 20 to 24 feet. Vehicles are now being used on area lakes with 12 to 14 inches of ice being reported.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
Setlines with shiner or rainbow minnows are turning walleyes during the evening hours in 15 to 22 feet on Gull Lake, North Long Lake, and Round Lake. Crappies also are most active during low-light periods over 10 to 20 feet on Cullen Lake, Nisswa Lake, Round, and North Long. Sunfish are hitting in 6 to 10 feet on lakes such as North Long and Nisswa, while sucker minnows are producing pike in 8 to 15 feet on most lakes. ATVs and some light vehicles are being used on 8 to 14 inches of ice.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
The 10- to 12-foot weeds in the south bay of Chisago Lake are producing panfish. The 6- to 12-foot breaks around Pancake Island on South Center Lake are worth hitting for crappies, sunfish, and northern pike. The channel between Chisago and South Lindstrom Lake has some low-light-period action for panfish, northern pike, and walleyes in less than 12 feet. You’ll find 7 to 10 inches of ice in the areas being fished.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Glow spoons and shiner minnows are turning walleyes in 16 to 22 feet on Big Detroit Lake, Lake Sallie, and Lake Melissa. Sunfish and crappies are mixed together over 15 to 20 feet on Little Detroit Lake, Cotton Lake, and Melissa. Ice conditions are good, with more than 14 inches being found on most lakes.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
Sucker minnows are producing northern pike in 12 to 15 feet on Kego Lake, Greer Lake, and Lake Washburn. The north end of Lake Esquagamah continues to produce sunfish in 12 to 14 feet, as is Washburn in 18 to 20 feet. About 12 inches of ice is being found on the lakes people are fishing.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
Lake Sisseton and Budd Lake continue to produce bluegills in 13 to 15 feet. Look to Budd Lake, Hall Lake, and Sisseton for crappies and yellow bass in 15 to 17 feet. Anglers are finding 7 to 10 inches of ice on these lakes.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Minnows on setlines are producing walleyes in 4 to 6 feet on South Fowl Lake, Caribou Lake in 12 to 15 feet, Hungry Jack Lake in 12 feet, and Devil Track Lake in 15 to 18 feet. Northern pike continue to be caught on sucker minnows at Poplar Lake in 4 to 10 feet and Devil Track in 8 to 15 feet. Ice depths vary, but are good with 10 to 15 inches being found on most lakes.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
Crappies are being found suspended over 25 to 35 feet, and bluegills are sitting on the 12- to 15-foot weed edges of Big Boy Lake, Girl Lake, Wabedo Lake, and Mule Lake. Walleye action is best during the evening hours on Woman Lake in 14 to 20 feet and Little Boy Lake in 19 to 23 feet. Small minnows are working best. Look to Lake Inguadona for a few sunfish and northern pike in shallow water. Anglers are reporting a consistent 9 to 14 inches of ice.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
MADISON LAKE AREA
Crappies, sunfish, and northern pike continue to be caught on Duck Lake in 15 to 17 feet. You’ll find active walleyes and crappies during the evening hours along Church Bar on Madison Lake. The Beaver Dam area on German Lake is kicking out crappies during low-light periods. Look to Baker’s Bay for sunfish and crappies, or the north side of the deep hole off Third Point for walleyes on Lake Washington. Eight to 10 inches is reported on area lakes.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
Work the south-end island and Meadowbrook areas for perch and bluegills on Big Stone Lake in 12 feet. Walleye action has been limited, and you’ll find about 12 inches of ice where people are fishing.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Low-light periods remain the best option for walleye fishing at Fish Hook Lake and Long Lake in 20 to 24 feet. Sunfish are hitting in 10 to 12 feet on Third and Fourth Crow Wing. Crappies are being found suspended over 20 to 30 feet during the evening hours on Boulder and the Crow Wing Chain. Anglers report about 12 inches of ice.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
Bluegills are weed-related in 10 to 14 feet, and crappies are being found suspended over 20 feet or more on Height of Land Lake, Dead Lake, Star Lake, and Rush Lake. Walleye action has been best during low-light periods in 15 to 20 feet on Big Pine Lake and Rush. More than 12 inches of ice is being found, and some vehicle travel has started in the area.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
There’s some evening walleye action in 14 to 20 feet on Horseshoe Lake, Rice Lake, and Cedar Island Lake. Walleyes also can be had around the islands on Lake Koronis in 22 to 30 feet. The deep holes on the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes are giving up catfish and some crappies. Look to Pearl Lake, Grand Lake, and Horseshoe for northern pike in 12 to 14 feet. Thin ice still exists on portions of some lakes, but as much as 10 inches is being found where people are fishing.
Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Crappies are hitting in the Battle Point area on Lake Osakis over 30 to 45 feet, Big Sauk Lake in 28 to 30 feet, and Long Bridge Lake in 14 to 16 feet. There’s some evening walleye action on Osakis in 16 to 18 feet and Sauk in 8 to 14 feet. Sucker minnows are producing northern pike on most lakes in 12 to 15 feet, and sunfish are going on the north end of Osakis in 8 to 15 feet or Smith Lake in 10 to 12 feet. Anglers are finding up to 12 inches of ice in most areas they’re fishing.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155