Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report for Feb. 15, 2019
LAKE MILLE LACS
East – Walleye reports continue to come in although the bite has been inconsistent. The best action continues to come off the deep mud and gravel during the day in 25 to 30 feet with setlines and shiners or small sucker minnows. During low-light periods, the 14- to 16-foot rocks are producing some walleyes as well. Hit the mud flats for tullibees and some jumbo perch. Check with resorts for road and access availability.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
West – Walleyes are biting, but you won’t hook the big numbers of fish like a few weeks ago. This week, the bite has been best at night on the rock points and in St. Alban’s Bay over 14 feet. Some walleyes also are being taken during the day on the mud flats in 25 to 32 feet with a few tullibees and perch mixed in. Off-road travel has become more difficult with additional snow, so call ahead and check on road and access conditions.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
For mid-February, fishing has been good with a nice mix of walleyes and saugers being caught 12 to 15 miles out, in 30 to 32 feet of water. Some pods of fish are being found closer to shore, away from traffic in 15 to 20 feet. Some nice walleyes have again been found suspended this week. Some reports of morning/evening walleye action on the Rainy River and Four Mile Bay continue. The area around International Bridge in Baudette still is not safe due to construction of a new bridge and there’s a lot of current, thus thinner ice than normal for February. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes, saugers, perch, pike, tullibees, and eelpout are coming from 24 to 30 feet, and large crappies are coming off the Canadian side.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
The North Arm and Phelp’s Bay on Lake Minnetonka are producing crappies in 16 to 25 feet. There’s an evening crappie bite on Lake Independence in 30 to 32 feet, and northern pike continue to hit on Medicine Lake and Minnetonka in 12 to 15 feet.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Walleye action has slowed throughout the lake with a few fish coming off the reefs in 20 to 25 feet or mud flats over 30 to 35 feet in Big Bay. Northern pike activity also has been limited in the shallow bays, and crappies have been tough to locate as well.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
The perch bite has been on and off with some fish coming off the flats in 15 to 17 feet. A few walleyes are in the mix, but the northern pike bite remains strong in the areas being fished. You have to check with resorts for road and access availability – off-road travel is nearly impossible due to slush and deep snow.
Setlines and shiner minnows are producing a few walleyes each evening on the 15- to 20-foot points or 30- to 35-foot humps in Walker Bay. Some perch are being caught on the north side of Walker Bay or Agency Bay in 12 to 18 feet. The deep water in Walker Bay also is worth hitting for eelpout. There are roads plowed to some areas of the lake, but a snowmobile is your best option – it allows you to get away from the crowds.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
Setlines and spoons are both working for walleyes throughout Sand Bay in 25 to 35 feet. Walleyes and some crappies continue to be caught around Dryweed Island and Grindstone Island in 30 feet or more. Look for suspended crappies over deep water in Black Bay.
International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766
Fishing has picked up a bit since last week, but remains spotty. The mud areas seem to be producing the most fish and small profile baits or plain hooks and minnows have been producing the best. There’s also been quite a few keeping-size perch mixed in. Roads are open but check with your resort or access area, and off-road travel is difficult.
Mort’s On Upper Red (218) 647-8128
JR’s Corner Access (320) 290-3838
Twin Cities Metro
Northern pike remain active in 10 to 12 feet on Battle Creek Lake, Demontreville Lake, and Parker’s Lake. A few walleyes are being caught during low-light periods at Bald Eagle Lake and White Bear Lake in 18 to 25 feet. Bone Lake and Big Marine Lake remain safe bets for sunfish in less than 12 feet.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
Lake Parley is giving up crappies and a few sunfish during the afternoon hours in 13 to 16 feet. Lake Minnewashta and Lake Auburn are producing a few northern pike in 10 to 12 feet, while walleye action remains slow.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Sunfish and northern pike are being caught in 12 to 14 feet on Pillsbury Reef, Center Reef, and throughout Waconia Bay. There’s some evening crappie action in Wagener’s Bay over 18 to 22 feet. Roads are being plowed regularly, but check with the marina on the day-to-day status of them.
Mase’s In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096
Look for crappies over 18 to 25 feet and sunfish in 12 to 18 feet on Lake Geneva, Lake Carlos, Lake Le Homme Dieu, and Lake Darling. Walleye reports have been limited to a few fish coming off Lake Miltona in 30 feet or more at night. Work Christopherson’s Bay on Lake Ida for a mixed bag of panfish in 6 to 12 feet. Anglers have been limited to fishing lakes where roads have been opened.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
As the snow continues to pile up, travel without a snowmobile or four-wheel-drive vehicle is tough on many lakes. Walleye activity is slow, but you’ll find northern pike in 12 to 16 feet on Clearwater Lake, Lake Sylvia, Cedar Lake, and Pleasant Lake. Crappies and sunfish are hitting in 12 to 15 feet on Lake John and Clearwater or 16 to 25 feet at Granite Lake, Maple Lake, and Rock Lake.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Walleye action has been limited to a few fish coming off East Battle Lake, Big Pine Lake, Little Pine Lake, and West Battle Lake in 25 to 40 feet. Look for suspended crappies over 15 to 20 feet and sunfish in 10 to 15 feet on East Lost Lake, Walker Lake, Fish Lake, and East Battle. West Battle is producing crappies in 15 to 20 feet, while sucker minnows continue to turn northern pike on the 10- to 20-foot weeds of Otter Tail Lake, North Turtle Lake, and West Battle. A few tullibees are being found suspended over 30 feet or more on Clitherall Lake, Pickeral Lake, and the north end of Otter Tail.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Not much has changed since last week, other than a lot more snow has piled up, which has made it even more difficult to get out and about on area lakes. Even the plowed roads are getting tough to keep open as slush is a problem. Snowmobiles are your best bet, but even they are having some trouble getting around. A few perch and an occasional walleye are being caught on Lake Bemidji, Lake Plantagenet, and Big Lake in 20 to 30 feet.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172
There are some roads plowed on Blackduck Lake so that’s where the majority of fishing activity has been. Look for walleyes in 9 to 12 feet or perch on the 20-foot mud areas. Anglers are forced to use snowmobiles on other lakes such as Pimushe and Gull where bluegills are biting in 20 feet.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
The Highway 371 Bay on North Long Lake and Nisswa Lake are kicking out panfish in 10 to 18 feet. The south end of Gull Lake is producing northern pike in 10 to 12 feet, while a few walleyes are coming off the north end of Gull in 25 to 35 feet during low-light periods.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Cass Lake, Pike Bay Lake, and Grace Lake are producing some walleyes in 30 feet during low-light periods. Black Bar on Pike Bay also is giving up perch along the 8-foot cabbage weeds. Upper and Lower Sucker lakes started giving up crappies in 10 to 12 feet after sunset. Deep snow and slush is limiting travel with vehicles. Trucks with plows or snowmobiles are your best options due to a lack of roads.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Northern pike and panfish are being caught in 8 to 12 feet in the Nelson’s Island area of North Center Lake and around Pancake Island on South Center Lake. The south end of Chisago Lake is producing panfish, largemouth bass, and northern pike in 8 to 10 feet. Hit Big Green and Little Green lakes for panfish and pike in 6 to 8 feet. Setlines and shiner minnows are turning some walleyes in 8 to 12 feet on North Center, Big Green, and Chisago. Roads are being plowed to most areas being fished.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
Fishing activity has been limited due to minimal travel options on area lakes due to deep snow and slush. Snowmobiles or vehicles with tracks are your only option on any lake that doesn’t have a road plowed (they are limited) and even those aren’t a guarantee due to slush.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Sunfish and crappies are hitting on Cotton Lake, Floyd Lake, and Little Detroit Lake in 20 to 25 feet. Walleye reports have been minimal with an occasional fish coming off Big Detroit Lake or Island Lake in 25 to 30 feet after sunset. Look to Lake Sallie, Lake Melissa, and Cotton for northern pike in 15 to 20 feet. Snowmobiles are the best travel option due to deep snow and lack of plowed roads on many lakes.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
Anglers have been walking out on 5 to 7 inches of ice on Lake Superior in front of Duluth. Small jigs and minnows are producing coho salmon and herring over 30 feet, while smelt are turning lake trout in 60 to 70 feet. Sucker minnows continue to trigger northern pike on Rice Lake in 4 to 6 feet and there’s a crappie bite on Fish Lake in 18 feet after sunset. The Duluth Harbor on the St. Louis River is kicking out walleyes, eelpout, and sturgeon (catch and release) in 10 feet.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
You’ll catch crappies and a few walleyes during low-light periods on Green Lake in 17 feet. Look to Blue Lake in 20 feet and Little Elk in 11 feet for a mixed bag of small panfish. Roads are minimal on area lakes so a snowmobile is your best means of travel.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985
Lake trout are being caught on tubes, bucktails, smelt, and sucker minnows over 35 to 50 feet on Snowbank Lake, Burntside Lake, and Basswood Lake. Northern pike are hitting smelt or light suckers on Stub Lake and Birch Lake in less than 15 feet. Look for suspended crappies on Bass Lake and Low Lake over 30 feet. Dry Lake and Little Dry Lake are producing brown trout on salted minnows over 30 feet. Plowed roads are minimal so snowmobiles will be your best mode of transportation.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
Bluegills continue to be found in 15 to 20 feet on Budd Lake and Lake Sisseton. Look for yellow bass and crappies over 15 to 20 feet on Hall Lake and Budd Lake. Anglers continue to get around, but with the snow piling up it has become more difficult.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
FERGUS FALLS AREA
Crappies and sunfish are being caught in 10 to 15 feet on Wall Lake or 8 to 10 feet on Norway Lake by Underwood. You’ll find tullibees suspended over deep water on Pebble Lake. It’s been tough to maintain roads on most lakes with additional snow and drifting – track vehicles are your best bet.
Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Walleyes remain active in 4 to 6 feet at Elbow Lake and South Fowl Lake. Salted minnows or waxworms are producing splake, most of which are suspended right under the ice over 10 to 15 feet, on Esther Lake and Musquash Lake. Look for suspended lake trout at 25 to 40 feet on Greenwood Lake or at 40 to 50 feet on Saganaga Lake.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
GREY EAGLE AREA
Look to Pine Lake for crappies and a few sunfish in 12 to 15 feet or to St. Anna Lake for sunfish in 18 to 20 feet. The north end of Swan Lake is giving up crappies and sunfish, while a few walleyes and pike are being caught outside Hunter’s Bay on Big Birch Lake in 18 to 25 feet. There are very few roads plowed on area lakes so a snowmobile is your best option for getting around.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Anglers are really limited to where they can go due to deep snow and slush. Very few roads have been plowed on area lakes, snowmobiles are your best option, but even they are struggling to get around due to slush. A few crappies are coming off Pleasant Lake and Birch Lake when people can get at them during the evening hours in 16 to 24 feet.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
Walleye fishing has been hit or miss with some groups doing OK and catching enough for a fish fry, but most found the bite to be tough regardless of their location. Now that the ice road has made some progress it is possible to bring wheel houses and portables to move around a bit on your own. There are some jumbo perch being caught in 30 feet or more as well.
Gateway Store (218) 875-2121
Snowmobiles or track vehicles are really the only travel options on area lakes and there is some slush to deal with. Look to Wabedo Lake for suspended crappies over 40 feet or Lake Inguadona for bluegills in the 6- to 8-foot green weeds. A few walleyes and perch are coming off Government Point area on Woman Lake during the evening in 15 to 25 feet.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
MADISON LAKE AREA
Anglers have been forced to go where roads have been plowed on local lakes. Crappies continue to be found suspended over 25 to 28 feet along Church Bar on Madision Lake. The 6-foot weeds in East Bay on Madison continue to hold panfish and northern pike. Look to Second and Third Point for walleyes in 18 to 20 feet or Baker’s Bay in 15 to 18 feet for panfish on Lake Washington. The west end of Big Jefferson Lake is producing bluegills in 15 to 18 feet and crappies over 20 to 25 feet.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
Sunfish and crappies are being caught on Knife Lake in 10 to 12 feet, Fish Lake in 6 feet, and the east end of Ann Lake in 10 feet. The snow is piling up, but four-wheel drive trucks were still being used early this week.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
Tungsten jigs and spikes continue to produce perch and some bluegills on the south end of Big Stone Lake in 11 to 13 feet. There are roads plowed and you’ll find spots that you can get off these roads, but don’t expect to drive up and down the lake due to deep snow and drifts.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Big Mantrap Lake is kicking out crappies in 22 to 25 feet, while Duck Lake is producing crappies and a few walleyes in 18 to 22 feet. Look to Fifth and Sixth Crow Wing lakes for sunfish on the 8- to 14-foot weedbeds. Roads are limited on area lakes and anglers are basically fishing where they can get to.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
RED WING AREA
Fishing pressure remained limited on the Mississippi River over the past week. There is some ice fishing activity in the Maiden Rock and Frontenac areas of Lake Pepin in 16 to 18 feet of water for walleyes, crappies, and yellow perch.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Crappies are being caught during low-light periods on Rice Lake over 15 to 25 feet of water and Pearl Lake in 14 to 16 feet of water. Clear Lake started giving up sunfish and crappies in 8 to 22 feet of water and northern pike in 10 to 12 feet of water. You’ll pick up a few walleyes on Horseshoe Lake in 20 to 24 feet of water. Road systems are minimal on area lakes and it’s become real difficult to get off the main roads without a snowmobile.
Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975
Sunfish and crappies are biting on the Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska in 15 feet, but the problem is getting to them. The roads plowed are narrow and getting off them or turning around is nearly impossible. Snowmobiles or four-wheel drive trucks are the best ways to get around.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
You’ll find suspended crappies over 35 feet at Eagle Lake and Nest Lake is producing northern pike in 12 to 18 feet. Hit Foot Lake for crappies and walleyes in 20 feet or Big Kandi Lake for perch and walleyes in less than 10 feet. Anglers are getting around with four-wheel drive trucks on most lakes, but you do have to watch out for snow drifts.
J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097
Fishing pressure has been light and those going out are struggling to find fish. In addition, lake travel has become more difficult with the snow continuing to pile up. Four-wheel drive vehicles or snowmobiles are needed to move around.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880