Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report for March 1, 2019

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

Last weekend’s strong winds created plenty of issues across the lake. Drifting snow closed most roads and resorts had a difficult time getting them reopened. With the walleye season now closed, it’s best to call ahead and see who will continue to plow roads heading into this weekend because off-road travel is difficult.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Walleyes and saugers are being caught in 30 to 34 feet along the south shore during the day, with some fish hitting early and late in 15 to 20 feet.  There’s a lot of snow and slush if you are not on an ice road or groomed trail.  Keep your jigging lines moving and try rattles to draw fish in. At the Northwest Angle, a mixed bag of walleyes, saugers, perch, pike, tulibees and eelpout are being caught in 22 to 30 feet. Nice crappies are being found just over the border around islands.

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

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

Fishing reports have been non-existent since last weekend’s snow and wind event. The only activity on area lakes this week is by people trying to get their wheel houses off the ice, which has been difficult due to deep snow and drifts.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

Last weekends strong winds and snow has caused major drifts to form throughout the lake. As a result, it’s impossible to move around the lake with anything other than a snowmobile and even that’s difficult. A few anglers are trying to get around with portable shelters and snowmobiles, but fishing activity has been light.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

It was tough to move around the lake before last weekend’s wind due to deep snow, drifts, and some slush. It’s even more difficult now and many resorts have closed their accesses to public use. Call ahead and check with resorts on access options heading into this weekend.

Lake Winnie Resort Association                   

LEECH LAKE

The lake is a mess after last weekend’s wind and snow. Drifts and slush have caused major issues throughout the lake, while anglers and resort owners alike were still in clean up mode early this week. Make some calls before heading out this weekend to see if lake conditions have improved and what access or travel options exist.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE     

The walleye bite has been best in mid-morning with bright-colored spoons and minnows or a minnow on a plain hook under a bobber. You will find walleyes on the 25- to 30-foot structure. Crappies also are a possibility, but the bite has been off and on over 20 to 25 feet.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766

RED LAKE

It was a tough end to the walleye season as another snow and wind event caused plenty of travel issues across the lake. Fishing pressure will be minimal for the immediate future, until a limited number of anglers begin looking for crappies.

Mort’s On Upper Red (218) 647-8128

JR’s Corner Access (320) 290-3838

Twin Cities Metro

WEST METRO

Fishing reports were limited even before last weekend’s blizzard due to poor conditions, and it’s worse now. Early this week, very few fishing options existed because of deep snow, drifts, and slush. Any roads that were being used are no longer usable. Look for opportunities if some roads or trails are reopened.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

LAKE WACONIA

Early this week, some roads had been opened out of the marina, but they are getting pretty narrow due to all the snow piling up. Sunfish and crappies were being caught in Waconia Bay, or on Cemetery Reef and Pillsbury Reef in 10 to 15 feet, but that’s where the roads go. The marina will be closed until spring after this Sunday, so you should plan on getting your permanent houses off this weekend.

Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

A few anglers have been getting out with four-wheel drive trucks, but the paths are rough and snow drifts are limiting where people can get to. Lakes such as Louise, Henry, Geneva, and Little Mary have some open trails and there has been a few panfish caught on them. Off-road travel is difficult and not advised.

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255

ANNANDALE AREA

After last weekend’s snow and wind, fishing has come to a halt. Any roads or trails that were being used by trucks are now snow-covered, and travel with any form of transportation is nearly impossible due to deep snow and drifts.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE AREA

Early this week, there was some limited travel happening on West Battle Lake, but that road wasn’t in very good shape. The wind caused roads on other lakes to blow shut, and packed drifts are making it difficult to open anything up.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

With more snow and high winds this past weekend fishing was virtually shut down. Any roads on area lakes were impassable. A few roads have started to be reopened on Lake Bemidji, but it’s tough going. Getting off the plowed roads with snowmobiles is even difficult because of all the snow and slush. Most folks now are working on getting their fish houses off the lakes and not fishing. 

Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172

BLACKDUCK AREA

This area only received about 4 inches of snow last weekend, but with the wind that followed, any roads that were open filled with snow. Slush also started showing up underneath the snow, even making it difficult for snowmobiles to get around. Call ahead going into this weekend to see if lake and road conditions have improved.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

This area didn’t receive much snow last weekend, but the wind did cause drifts, ultimately making travel on lakes difficult. Early this week, some roads/trails had started being opened on the Highway 371 Bay on North Long Lake and Nisswa Lake, and a few panfish anglers were out. There’s also some activity on Gull Lake for eelpout at night. Traveling off any type of road is nearly impossible.

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

CASS LAKE AREA

With the exception of snowmobile use, traveling on Cass Lake is nearly impossible due to drifts and slush. You’ll even want to watch for those slush pockets on Cass if you are using a snowmobile. There was a minimal road/trail opened on Pike Bay Lake and some perch are being caught in 20 feet or so, but don’t plan on getting far off the road with a vehicle.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831              

CHISAGO AREA   

There hasn’t been many anglers out since last weekend’s wind and snow event due to limited travel options on all lakes. Even with four-wheel drive it’s tough to get around and slush has started to show up under the snow as well. Early this week, some roads had started being opened, but call ahead for access and lake conditions.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

Any roads or trails that did exist are now filled with snow after last weekend’s blizzard. Slush also is very evident on all lakes so it’s very tough to get out fishing. Some anglers were walking out on the mine pits for trout, but even they report deep slush if you get off the limited paths that exist.

Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912

DETROIT LAKES AREA

A few roads were being opened early this week on some lakes, but snow drifts and slush were limiting fishing options on a lot of lakes. Basically, people were trying to get fish houses off lakes or going where they could due to limited access and travel options.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA   

Getting on any inland lake is impossible due to deep snow and slush. Conditions are in good shape on Lake Superior with anglers reporting 12 to 28 inches of ice. Small jigs and minnows continue to produce coho salmon and herring in less than 50 feet, while smelt or jigs and tubes are turning lake trout at 120 to 150 feet.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST CENTRAL MN

Fishing pressure has been limited after last weekend’s wind closed any roads that had been open on area lakes. Moving around, even by walking has become difficult, and will continue to be until some of the snow melts or trails are again cleared. 

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

ELY AREA

Fishing pressure has been limited mainly due to last weekend’s wind, but snowmobiles are being used on most lakes. Lake trout are hitting blade baits and tubes over 35 to 50 feet at Snowbank Lake, Thomas Lake, and Burntside Lake. Rainbow trout action remains good on Miner’s Lake and Tofte Lake about 10 to 15 feet under the ice. Look for brook trout on Cub Lake and Miner’s in less than 10 feet. Eelpout have started hitting glow jigs at night on Shagawa Lake, Snowbank, and Burntside in 15 to 35 feet.

Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358

EMILY AREA 

At this point, anglers are most concerned with getting their houses off area lakes and not fishing. After last weekend’s snow, plowed roads are minimal and those that do exist have water on them. Travel of any type is difficult on all lakes.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191

FAIRMONT AREA

Last weekend’s blizzard put an end to fishing opportunities on most lakes with deep snow and wind causing too much drifting to move around. The only option early this week was on Hall Lake, which had a short road opened. A few crappies and yellow bass are being caught in 15 to 20 feet.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

FERGUS FALLS AREA

Deep snow, slush, and drifts have shut down most fishing options. It was difficult to get around on lakes in this area prior to last weekend’s wind, so you’ll continue to need a snowmobile or track vehicle and even those are no longer viable on some lakes.

Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050

GREY EAGLE AREA

Anglers were just starting to see what, if any, fishing options they had early this week after last weekend’s wind. Roads were limited on area lakes before the blizzard and any that were open are now snow packed. Heading into this weekend, call ahead to see if anything has been busted open in this area.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

HACKENSACK AREA 

There hasn’t been any fishing activity since last weekend’s wind. Any roads that were open are now drifted shut and slush has become a major issue on all lakes. Anglers with snowmobiles are also finding it difficult to move around due to the slush and getting permanent fish houses off lakes is a difficult chore.

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

MORA AREA

Some people were trying to open roads on a few lakes early this week, but it has been difficult with all of the snow and drifts. There’s so many packed drifts on the ice that pushing snow around has been very difficult for plows. There was basically no options for traveling on area lakes other than walking as of Tuesday morning.

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

ORTONVILLE AREA

The staff at Artie’s was doing their best to get some trails opened on Big Stone Lake early this week after last weekend’s blizzard. The plan was to have some roads open by mid-week, but it’s best to call ahead for availability and wheel house use heading into this weekend. Plowing has been extremely difficult because of all of the snow and drifts, sometimes taking a half hour to go 200 yards. 

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

With the exception of some limited roads and trails on Fish Hook Lake and Duck Lake, travel early this week was difficult throughout the area. Even on those lakes, off-road travel is nearly impossible.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

PERHAM AREA

Fishing pressure was limited early this week due to the lack of open roads on area lakes. Anglers were just getting out on Monday and Tuesday after last weekend’s wind, trying to bust through the drifts and slush to see how far they could get out. Call ahead to see what’s available for travel options going into this weekend.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

RED WING AREA

Prior to the snow and cold air arriving walleye and sauger action had been pretty good on the Mississippi River. Early this week, there was just enough ice forming overnight on the river and it was cold enough that fishing pressure was limited. There will be boat traffic this weekend. The few anglers venturing through the deep snow continue to catch northern pike through the ice in the bays and marinas.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

STARBUCK AREA

A few plowed roads have been opened on the Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska and some panfish continue to be caught in 12 to 15 feet. The only option for off-road travel is with a snowmobile, and slush was not an issue early this week.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239

Categories: MInnesota Fishing Reports, News

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