Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report for Feb. 22, 2019
LAKE MILLE LACS
East – Anglers aren’t catching big numbers of walleyes, but large fish remain somewhat active. The best reports continue to come off the mud flats or deep basin areas in 30 feet or more during low-light periods. For this weekend’s Perch Extravaganza, work the south-end bays, north-end sand breaks, and mud flats. You’ll also want to check with resorts for access and road options going into Saturday.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
West – Walleye action has been somewhat slow, although many anglers are stating that they’re seeing plenty of fish on their electronics. Look to the mud flats during midday hours or the rock points at night in 14 to 16 feet. If you’re not using a snowmobile, you’ll want to stay on the plowed roads that exist because there’s too much snow to get off them. Call ahead for road options this weekend.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
The majority of walleyes and sauger are coming out of 30 to 34 feet on the south shore. Where you can, try to get away from traffic. There also have been some good reports in 15 to 20 feet of water early and late each day. On the Rainy River, ice is thinner than normal for this time of year due to a strong current, so reports have been limited. At the Northwest Angle, the morning and evening hours have been best for a mixed bag of walleyes, sauger, perch, pike, tullibees, and eelpout. Most fish are coming from 22 to 30 feet on gold, glow red, and other glow jigs.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
You’ll find crappies in the North Arm over 30 feet and sunfish in Carson’s Bay in 20 feet on Lake Minnetonka. Look to Lake Independence for crappies and small walleyes in 25 to 35 feet. Travel is limited to plowed roads, and off-road travel is nearly impossible.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Snowmobiles, track vehicles, and some four-wheel-drive trucks are being used as snow continues to pile up on the lake. Walleye reports have been inconsistent, with spurts of activity during low-light periods on the main-lake reefs and mud areas in 25 feet or more. Northern pike and crappie action remain slow.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Perch action has been spotty, with some action coming out of 28 to 32 feet or 15 to 20 feet. It seems to vary daily. Work the Hunter’s Hump area, Snaghole Bar, or south of Raven’s Point. There continues to be plenty of northern pike and a few walleyes mixed in. Here’s the problem: Deep snow and slush are limiting travel options, with snowmobiles or track vehicles working best. Anglers also have reported that areas start to flood as soon as you drill some holes.
The lake is covered with deep snow and slush, and even the spots where roads are plowed are starting to experience some flooding issues in areas. Off-road travel is nearly impossible without some type of track vehicle, and you’ll come across pockets of slush on those as well. There are some opportunities to get around parts of the lake, primarily in Walker Bay, out of Trapper’s Landing, and a few other areas, but it’s tough to get around. The few walleyes being caught are coming from the humps in Walker Bay over 30 feet or more and on the 16- to 20-foot structure on the main lake.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
The walleye bite is best early in the day in 28 to 32 feet, and you’ll find some crappies in a little less water. Minnows on bright jigs and rattle jigs seem to be working best. Sand Bay remains the most popular area, but anglers are getting out to other spots such as Dryweed Island. The National Park Service has opened the ice road to Cranberry Bay so you should head east and try the structure in that area. The Park Service also reports pockets of slush in some areas, so watch where you’re going. If you’re looking to hook a big northern pike, Black Bay is the best bet in less than 15 feet.
International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766
Walleye fishing continues to be OK, with most people still catching fish, just not big numbers right now. The night bite has been the main feeding time, along with first and last light. Small glow or rattle baits have been working best, with a few better reports coming from the mud.
Mort’s On Upper Red (218) 647-8128
JR’s Corner Access (320) 290-3838
Twin Cities Metro
Sunfish remain active on Lake Auburn, while Lake Parley is producing sunfish and crappies in 12 to 14 feet. The back side of Whaletail Lake is worth hitting for crappies in 16 feet, and northern pike are hitting in 10 to 12 feet on Auburn and Lake Minnewashta. Anglers continue to be limited with their lake travel and have been forced to walk out or go where some roads have been opened.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Work the 12- to 14-foot weedlines for sunfish and northern pike throughout Waconia Bay, Wagener’s Bay, and Center Reef. Crappies are hitting best in 14 to 16 feet on Pillsbury and Center reefs. If you get away from the crowds, you’ll hook a few walleyes overnight on Center Reef, Cemetery Reef, and Nelson’s Flats. Roads were open to these areas earlier this week.
Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096
There are roads plowed on some lakes, but off-road travel is difficult. Darling Lake is kicking out crappies and sunfish in 18 to 22 feet, as is Lake Louise in shallower water. Lake Le Homme Dieu is giving up crappies over 20 to 25 feet, while Lake Geneva is producing crappies and sunfish in 18 to 24 feet. Work the north side of Lake Henry for crappies in 12 feet and Little Mary Lake for sunfish and crappies in 12 to 14 feet. Walleye and northern pike reports have been light.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
Sunfish and crappies are being caught on Lake John in 15 feet, Granite Lake and Rock Lake in 18 to 20 feet, Clearwater Lake in 12 to 18 feet, and Lake Marie in 15 to 20 feet. Walleye and northern pike reports have been poor. Slush isn’t bad on area lakes, but deep snow is limiting where you can go. There are some roads open on select lakes, and four-wheel drive was an option on most early this week.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
A few walleyes continue to be caught in 25 to 40 feet on Big Pine Lake, Little Pine Lake, and East Battle Lake. You’ll find crappies over 15 to 25 feet and sunfish in 10 to 15 feet at East Lost Lake, East Battle, Rush Lake, and Walker Lake. Sucker or shiner minnows are producing northern pike in the 10- to 20-foot weeds of North Turtle Lake, Fiske Lake, Ellingson Lake, and West Battle. Mollie Stark Lake, the north end of Otter Tail Lake and Clitherall Lake are giving up some tullibees over deep water. Travel is difficult, even on lakes with plowed roads, due to slush.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Nothing much has changed in this area except more snow and slush has piled up. There are a few plowed roads on Lake Bemidji, but even those are getting slushy in spots. Getting off the plowed roads even with snowmobiles is tough because of the deep snow and slush.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172
Travel has become really difficult on most lakes due to deep snow and slush. There are a few roads on Blackduck Lake and anglers are catching walleyes in 9 to 12 feet and some perch on the 20-foot mud. Gull Lake and Pimushe Lake are kicking out bluegills over 18 to 22 feet, but you need a snowmobile to move around on them.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
Slush has started to show up more consistently on many lakes or spots within them, so if there’s a road plowed open, you don’t want to venture off it. Crappies and sunfish are being caught on Nisswa Lake and in the Highway 371 Bay of North Long Lake. A few walleyes are hitting each evening on the north end of Gull Lake in 25 feet or more.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
There’s a lot of slush on area lakes and plowed roads are minimal, so snowmobiles are probably your best travel option. A few walleyes are being caught during the evening hours on the south end of Cass Lake along the 25- to 30-foot breaks. Hit Allen’s Bay on Cass in 16 to 18 feet or Pike Bay Lake in 20 to 25 feet for perch. Crappies are being found suspended over 25 to 30 feet on Grace Lake and Kitchi Lake. Pike Bay Lake or Allen’s Bay and Strawberry Point on Cass are producing tullibees over deep water.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Panfish and northern pike continue to be caught on the south end of Chisago Lake in 8 to 10 feet. Hit Big Green Lake for panfish and pike in 6 to 8 feet or the Nelson’s Island area on North Center Lake in 8 to 12 feet. The Pancake Island area on South Center Lake is producing panfish in less than 12 feet as well. Roads were being maintained throughout these lakes early this week, but any additional snow could make travel more difficult.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Anglers have been sticking to lakes with plowed roads – basically where they can get to. Crappies and sunfish are being found suspended over 20 to 25 feet on Lake Melissa, Floyd Lake, and Little Detroit Lake. The few people after walleyes are hitting Big Detroit Lake and Lake Sallie in 25 feet. Star Lake started giving up a few tullibees over 30 feet or more.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
Getting on the inland lakes is difficult due to slush and deep snow. Most anglers have been hitting Lake Superior from Duluth to Two Harbors, and they are walking out and catching lake trout over 100 to 150 feet and coho salmon and herring over 30 to 50 feet. Smelt have been the hot bait for lakers, while small jigs and minnows are working best for herring and salmon.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
Tubes or blade baits are producing lake trout over 35 to 50 feet at Burntside Lake, Snowbank Lake, and Basswood Lake. Sucker minnows, smelt, and alewives are turning northern pike on Basswood and Armstrong Lake in less than 10 feet. Work 10 to 15 feet of water for stream trout on Miner’s Lake, Tofte Lake, and Glacier Pond One. Fall Lake is kicking out crappies over 25 to 35 feet, while Basswood is giving up crappies in 20 to 24 feet and sunfish in 6 to 10 feet. Snowmobiles are the best transportation option on all lakes.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
Lawrence Lake is producing crappies over 15 to 18 feet, and Mitchell Lake is giving up a few walleyes during low-light periods in 18 to 20 feet near the island. Hit Ruth Lake with tip-ups and sucker minnows for northern pike in 12 to 14 feet. Snow and slush are limiting where anglers can go, and a snowmobile is your best mode of transportation.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
Snowmobiles or walking out are the best options for moving around on area lakes, with deep snow still limiting angler movement. Hit Hall Lake and Budd Lake for crappies and yellow bass in 15 to 20 feet. Budd and Lake Sisseton continue to give up some bluegills in 15 to 20 feet as well.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
FERGUS FALLS AREA
Look for sunfish in 8 to 10 feet on Norway Lake and West Lost Lake. Tullibees are being found suspended over the deep holes of Jewett Lake and Pebble Lake. Snowmobiles or track vehicles are needed to move around on area lakes as snow and slush continue to cause travel issues.
Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Lake trout are being caught on West Bearskin Lake in 25 to 30 feet and Kemo Lake over 20 feet. Greenwood Lake is giving up lake trout and tullibees over 40 to 45 feet. Hit Leo Lake with waxworms for rainbow trout in 15 feet. These fish are suspended just below the ice. Elbow Lake continues to produce walleyes in 6 feet. Snowmobiles are being used on area lakes without issues.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
GREY EAGLE AREA
Look for sunfish on the northeast end in 8 to 10 feet and crappies on the northwest end in 18 feet at Pine Lake. The narrows on Mound Lake remain a safe bet for crappies, and the north end of Big Swan Lake is giving up sunfish in 15 feet and crappies over 20 feet. St. Anna Lake is kicking out sunfish in 18 to 22 feet during the afternoon hours. There were some roads open early this week, but it’s tough to get off them on all lakes due to deep snow.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Snowmobiles are being used to get to, and travel on, some of the backwoods lakes, and panfish are being caught. A few roads have been plowed on some lakes, but they aren’t always maintained and there’s too much snow and slush for off-road travel.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
Four-wheel-drive trucks were still being used on area lakes earlier this week. Crappies and sunfish continue to be caught at Knife Lake in 10 to 12 feet, the east end of Ann Lake in 10 feet, and Fish Lake in 6 feet. Walleye and northern pike action is slow.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
Perch action has slowed a bit on Big Stone Lake, but anglers willing to move around are doing OK in 11 to 13 feet around the Schmidt’s Landing area. A few more crappies and bluegills have been in the mix this week as well. There are some roads open, but snowmobiles or track vehicles are your best bets for getting around.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Deep snow and slush are making it tough to get around on most lakes. Fish Hook Lake has some roads plowed and that’s where the majority of anglers are fishing. You’ll find northern pike and panfish in 12 to 16 feet on the south side of the lake.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
RED WING AREA
Anglers in boats on the Mississippi River are catching sauger during midday hours in 22 to 30 feet and walleyes early and late each day in 15 feet. Jigs tipped with plastics or minnows are working best from Red Wing to the dam. Tip-ups with suckers or shiner minnows have started turning more northern pike in the bays and marinas in less than 5 feet of water.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
SAUK CENTRE AREA
There are roads plowed on some lakes, and that seems to be where most people are going. Long Bridge Lake continues to produce crappies during the evening hours over 22 to 25 feet. Work the north bay on Lake Osakis for crappies and a few sunfish in 20 to 25 feet, while Fairy Lake is kicking out sunfish in 10 to 12 feet. Smith Lake started giving up sunfish in 10 to 12 feet as well.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
The Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska has roads plowed and anglers were getting around earlier this week. The area from Fish Hatchery Bay to the Glenwood Ballroom is giving up sunfish during the day and crappies each evening in 12 to 15 feet. This area is kicking out numbers of northern pike as well. Look to Lake Villard for sunfish in 14 feet, but snowmobiles are the better travel option on it. A few walleyes are being caught during low-light periods on Ann Lake in 12 feet.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
Eagle Lake is producing crappies over 35 feet and walleyes in 25 feet during low-light periods. You’ll find perch in less than 10 feet on Big Kandi Lake and crappies on Diamond Lake over 25 to 30 feet. The island area on Nest Lake is kicking out crappies and a few walleyes in 28 to 30 feet or northern pike in 15 to 18 feet. Slush was not an issue early this week, but four-wheel drive is needed due to deep snow and drifts on most lakes.
J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097