Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report for Jan. 4, 2019

Great Eight


East – This area received about 8 inches of snow late last week, but resorts have got the lake cleaned up, with roads open where they feel it’s safe to get to. With that stated, cross country travel is not an option and continue to work through resorts for ice and road conditions. Walleyes continue to hit best during low-light periods on the shallow to mid-depth rocks with some mud flat and gravel fish also an option as those areas become accessible. Midday hours are best spent off structure in 20 to 30 feet for walleyes and northern pike remain active in the bays such as Cove, Isle, and Wahkon.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

West – The ice is right around 12 inches, there is some snow on top and some cracks farther out in the lake. As a result, travel out to the mud flats is just beginning with snowmobiles. Fishing in the bays and the rock points has still been good for walleyes in 14 to 24 feet of water. A few big perch and occasional northern pike are mixed in with the walleyes. Small suckers or golden shiners on set lines or a jigging spoon with a minnow head are both working.

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430


Walleyes continue to slide a bit deeper with most anglers now working 25 to 32 feet. During the morning and evenings, there is a shallower bite in 13 to 18 feet. Electronics are helpful, since some fish are coming through suspended. There’s also been some walleye action in Four Mile Bay early and late in day and good reports of northern pike from the bays. At the Northwest Angle, the ice road is open from Young’s Bay to Flag Island.  Excellent fishing has been reported with good numbers of walleyes being caught and crappies from the Ontario side.

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


Anglers are reporting 8 to 10 inches of ice in most areas with a bit more on some lakes and bays. Northern pike are being taken with tip ups and sucker minnows along the 14- to 18-foot weedlines on Lake Minnetonka, Lake Independence, and Medicine Lake. Carson’s Bay and Seton channel on Minnetonka are giving up sunfish and crappies in 19 to 24 feet – bigger crappies are being caught after dark. Walleye reports have been sporadic, with fish being caught from 21 to 28 feet on Minnetonka with shiner minnows.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227


Walleyes continue to hit along the reefs or bay mouths in 28 to 35 feet early and late each day. Northern pike reports remain strong in less than 14 feet in most bays. About 12 inches of snow fell late last week, but roads have been plowed to most areas being fished.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430


Perch continue to be sluggish with an occasional flurry of activity in less than 12 feet. There hasn’t been many anglers chasing walleyes, but northern pike remain active in less than 10 feet. About 12 to 15 inches of snow fell here last week, but roads are plowed and people are getting out.

Lake Winnie Resort Association                   


You’ll hook walleyes and a few perch off Sand Point in 12 to 15 feet or off the rocks and humps on the south end out of Trapper’s Landing in 17 to 19 feet. Some walleyes also are being caught in 16 to 20 feet in Agency Bay and Trader’s Bay. Ice conditions are generally good even with more than 14 inches of snow hitting the area late last week. There’s some thinner ice, slush, and cracks in Walker Bay so talk to a resort before venturing out.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250


Anglers continue to head out with ATVs or snowmobiles and a more consistent walleye pattern is starting to emerge. Walleyes are hitting glow jigs and minnows early in the day and later in the afternoon. Most are venturing out to Sand Bay, but there also are anglers heading for the crappie crib areas in Black Bay. As always, put safety first and check ice depth frequently. The government shut down has affected Voyageurs National Park in that there will be no trail maintenance or trail condition reports until the situation is resolved.  

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766


Walleye reports continue to be favorable, although some days have been more productive than others. The magic depth this week seems to be 12 to 14 feet, with some better reports coming from the Center Bar area. The night bite also remains worth sticking it out for with good action after sunset on setlines and shiner minnows.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

JR’s Corner Access (320) 290-3838

Twin Cities Metro


Look for suspended crappies in the Bayport and Hudson areas of the St. Croix River over 30 to 45 feet. Some walleyes also are coming from these areas in 25 to 35 feet. Tip ups and sucker minnows continue to produce numbers of northern pike in 8 to 10 feet on Beaver Lake, Demontreville Lake, Mud Lake, and Silver Lake. Sunfish are being caught on area lakes, but most have been on the small side.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421


Waconia Bay and Wagener’s Bay are giving up panfish and northern pike in 10 to 12 feet. Walleye action has been best after dark with glow spoons or glow jigs and minnows in 12 to 14 feet. Look to Waconia Bay, between the two marinas, the island, and Cemetary Reef for better numbers of ‘eyes.

Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096



Crappies are being found suspended over 18 to 25 feet and sunfish remain active in 12 to 16 feet on Clearwater Lake, Lake Marie, Pleasant Lake, Maple Lake, and Lake John. Some bigger northern pike have started being taken in 10 to 14 feet on Clearwater, Pleasant, Cedar Lake, and Granite Lake. Walleyes have bit best early and late each day in 16 to 24 feet on Clearwater and Lake Sylvia.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297


About 14 inches of snow piled up last week so you need to watch for ice heaves and drifts as you travel area lakes. Look for walleyes on Otter Tail Lake along the 17- to 24-foot breaks, West Battle Lake in 30 to 40 feet, and Rush Lake in 20 to 25 feet. Crappies and sunfish remain active over 15 to 20 feet on East Lost Lake, Walker Lake, Wall Lake, West Battle, and Rush. Sucker minnows are producing northern pike on the 15- to 20-foot weeds of Otter Tail, North Turtle Lake, and Fiske Lake. 

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596


The walleye and perch bite has picked up on Lake Bemidji. With the ice ranging from 12 to 15 inches, anglers have started hitting mid-lake areas and finding fish in 25 to 35 feet. Jigging spoons and minnow heads or dead sticking shiners are working well. Perch are going most of the day with the best walleye bite in the early morning or late afternoon/evening. Other lakes kicking out some walleyes and perch include Plantagenet and Grace in slightly shallower water. Look to Wolf Lake, Midge Lake, and Moose Lake for some decent bluegill and crappies. This area received 12 to 15 inches of snow last week so travel by vehicle on some lakes is difficult. Roads have been plowed on Lake Bemidji and some of the other popular lakes in the area. 

Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172


Rabideau Lake and Gull Lake continue to produce crappies and bluegills in 18 to 25 feet – look for suspended fish. Blackduck Lake and Island Lake are giving up walleyes and some nice perch over 12 to 18 feet. About 10 to 12 inches of snow fell here last week, but anglers are getting around with snowmobiles and ATVs with some lake roads re-opened.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636


Crappies are hitting best during low-light periods over 12 to 18 feet on North Long Lake, Cullen Lake, and Round Lake. Look for walleyes also to be moving best early and late each day in 15 to 22 feet on Gull Lake, Whitefish Lake, and North Long. Sucker minnows and tip ups are producing northern pike in 12 to 14 feet on Gull, Round, and North Long. 

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


Cass Lake, Wolf Lake, Lake Andrusia, and Pike Bay Lake are all producing nice perch along the 8- to 10-foot sand/weed areas. Walleyes are hitting minnows on setlines during low-light periods at Cass, Wolf, and Andrusia in 18 feet. Northern pike action remains strong on the shallow weedlines of Andrusia or in Allen’s Bay on Cass. More than a foot of snow hit this area so snowmobiles have become the primary option to get around.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831              


Big Detroit Lake continues to give up walleyes during low-light periods in 16 to 22 feet. Crappies are hitting during the evening hours, as are sunfish during the day in 15 to 20 feet on Little Detroit Lake, Lake Sallie, Lake Melissa, and Big Detroit. This area received 6 to 10 inches of snow late last week, but anglers are getting around. 

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248


You’ll find suspended crappies on Green Lake over 20 feet and shiners are turning pike on Fremont Lake in 7 feet. Blue Lake and Baxter Lake are safe bets for sunfish in 14 feet. ATVs are being used on area lakes.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985


Bass Lake and Low Lake are kicking out sunfish and crappies over 20 to 30 feet. Range Lake and Grassy Lake started producing northern pike on smelt or sucker minnows in the shallow weeds. Look to Shagawa Lake for walleyes in 20 to 30 feet, Snowbank Lake in 28 to 32 feet, and Burntside Lake in 25 feet. Snowmobiles are now the best means for travel after 12 to 14 inches of snow fell here last week.

Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358


Crappies are being found suspended over 28 to 30 feet on Mitchell Lake during the evening hours. Perry Lake is kicking out northern pike on sucker minnows in 12 to 14 feet, and Kego Lake is producing sunfish in 16 feet. It has become more difficult to get around on most lakes after last week’s storm dropped 14 inches of snow.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191


Small spoons are producing crappies and yellow bass at Hall Lake, Budd Lake, and Lake Sisseton in 15 to 20 feet. Budd and Sisseton are giving up bluegills in 15 to 20 feet as well. Hit Cedar Lake with tip ups and suckers in 4 feet for pike.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225


You’ll hook crappies, bluegills, and a few walleyes on Wall Lake in 12 to 14 feet. Hit Bass Lake in 15 to 20 feet for sunfish during the day and crappies at night. Jewett Lake is giving up walleyes and crappies during the evening hours over 18 to 24 feet. This area received about 12 inches of snow, but roads have been opened on most of the lakes being fished.

Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050


This area received 12 to 14 inches of snow last week so it’s more difficult to get around on area lakes, but anglers with snowmobiles aren’t having any issues. Maple Lake is giving up crappies and sunfish, to the left of the access, in 15 feet. Cedar Lake by St. Rose is kicking out sunfish in 12 to 15 feet, while the north end of Big Swan Lake is producing sunfish in 22 feet and crappies over 28 feet. On Big Birch Lake, you’ll find some walleyes in 18 to 20 feet and northern pike in 10 to 12 feet of water. Cedar Lake by Upsala is kicking out walleyes in 30 feet and northern pike in 10 to 12 feet.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405


Bluegills and crappies are being caught early and late each day on Birch Lake, Stoney Lake, Pleasant Lake, Mule Lake, and Moccasin Lake over 15 to 22 feet. A few walleyes are being taken in 20 to 24 feet during the late evening hours on Pine Mountain Lake, Baby Lake, Pleasant Lake, and Birch. Northern pike continue to hit sucker minnows on most lakes in 12 to 18 feet. This area received 14 to 18 inches of snow late last week, so traveling on area lakes has become more difficult – snowmobiles are a good idea for travel.

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


Church Bar on Madison Lake continues to produce walleyes and crappies during low-light periods. Look to the north side of Third Point for walleyes in 25 to 30 feet or Baker’s Bay for sunfish on Lake Washington. The 15- to 17-foot break on Duck Lake is worth noting for panfish and northern pike during the early morning and late afternoon hours.

Corner Bait (507) 243-4464


The north end of Knife Lake is giving up sunfish early and late each day in 10 to 12 feet. Look to the east end of Ann Lake for sunfish and northern pike in 8 to 10 feet. Fish Lake is giving up sunfish and crappies in 6 feet, as is Lori Lake in 15 feet. Vehicles are being used on most lakes.

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


Hit Boulder Lake, Fourth Crow Wing Lake, and Eleventh Crow Wing Lake for sunfish in 12 to 14 feet and crappies over 24 to 30 feet. Walleyes continue to bite best during low-light periods in 18 to 22 feet at Fish Hook Lake, Potato Lake, and Long Lake. This area received 8 to 10 inches of snow last week, but vehicles are being used.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099


The 22- to 30-foot breaks off the islands on Lake Koronis remain a safe bet for walleyes. Walleyes and crappies are being caught in 16 to 24 feet on Horseshoe Lake, Rice Lake, Cedar Island Lake, and Schnieder Lake. Pearl Lake started giving up a few crappies over 12 to 15 feet, hit Grand Lake for northern pike from 8 to 20 feet, and Big Lake for a mixed bag of panfish in 18 to 22 feet.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975


Sunfish are biting during the day and crappies are hitting each evening on the Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska in 15 feet. Walleye reports have been slow on Minnewaska and the fish being caught are hitting after dark in 14 to 16 feet. Look to Lake Villard for sunfish and pike in 14 feet. Vehicles have started being used on some lakes.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239


Willmar/Foot Lake is giving up crappies, sunfish, and a few walleyes in 8 to 12 feet. East Solomon Lake and Ringo Lake are producing walleyes and crappies in 10 to 15 feet, while Green Lake is worth hitting for walleyes in 15 feet. Lakes such as Minnetoga, Lillian, Big Kandi, and Kasota continue to produce a few walleyes in less than 10 feet.

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


Look for consistent crappie and walleye action on Lake Lac qui Parle in 5 to 7 feet. Lake Shetek and Lake Sarah are producing walleyes in 5 to 8 feet, while Island Lake is kicking out perch in 5 to 7 feet. This area received about 12 inches of snow last week so it is more difficult to get around on some lakes.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

Categories: MInnesota Fishing Reports, News

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