Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report for March 22
LAKE MILLE LACS
Fishing pressure continues to be light, with a handful of anglers looking to the bays on the south end for crappies. They seem to bite better early and late each day and some days are simply better than others.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Good reports for those still ice fishing in 24 to 31 feet. Try downsizing your presentation and dead sticking with a plain hook and live minnow. There’s also a morning/evening bite in 15 to 20 feet. Northern pike action is strong with many fish over 40 inches caught again this week. Some resort fish houses are still available, but many are done ice fishing for the year. There’s a strong current in the Rainy River and it’s opening up way to the east, so open water fishing could be here soon. At the Northwest Angle, the best walleye reports are morning and evening in 14 to 22 feet.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Most of the snow is off the lakes, but fishing pressure continues to be light. A few anglers are walking on Black Lake, Seton Bay, Carson’s Bay, and North Arm of Lake Minnetonka for a mixed bag of panfish in 14 to 16 feet. Medicine Lake is giving up some sunfish in 8 to 10 feet. There’s still two feet of ice on area lakes and conditions have improved.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Anglers have been catching some crappies at the mouth of Pike River in 18 to 26 feet. You’ll also want to look to the north side of Pine Island or Raspberry Island for crappies in 20 to 25 feet. The trails are still staked, so most people are using snowmobiles on the lake.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Lake conditions remain poor with deep snow and slush still an issue across the lake. As a result, most resorts have kept their accesses closed, so call ahead before venturing out this weekend.
The lake continues to be a mess with slush still causing issues. A few people have been walking out, but struggling with the current conditions. Even anglers with track vehicles are experiencing a tough go of it with all the slush. As a result, fishing reports of any kind have been minimal again this week.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
Fishing pressure has been minimal since last week with slush and snow limiting where anglers can get to. A few crappie anglers have been out and experiencing limited success in 25 to 30 feet.
International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766
There still hasn’t been any reports of crappie action, but there hasn’t been very much activity on the lake since walleye season closed. Deep snow and slush also is being reported by the few people going on the lake.
Mort’s On Upper Red (218) 647-8128
Twin Cities Metro
Ice fishing reports have been non-existent as lake conditions continue to limit travel options. Anglers have been hitting Pool Nos. 2 and 4 on the Mississippi River and catching walleyes on jigs tipped with plastics or minnows. As of early this week, water levels were rising on the river, but it was still fishable.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
There’s only been a handful of people going out since last week as lake conditions remain poor. There’s quite a bit of water underneath the snow that remains and that’s limiting both anglers‘ ability to get out and their interest to go fishing.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Fishing pressure continues to be minimal due to poor lake conditions. If people are going, they are walking out with a few reports coming off the north end of Prior Lake for panfish in 8 to 15 feet.
Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096
Anglers were just starting to get on some lakes early this week as the snow and slush is slowly starting to diminish. Most are still walking out with some limited reports coming off the area’s small lakes for panfish. Basically, people are going where they can get to until the snow and slush soaks away.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
Most people continue to walk on area lakes with slush and snow limiting other travel options. Fishing reports have been light as anglers are basically walking to the few spots they can get to for panfish on Indian Lake, Clearwater Lake, Pleasant Lake, and Lake John.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Lake conditions are improving, but anglers continue to deal with a lot of slush and are forced to walk out. The snow is melting and there is a chance that ATVs might be an option on some lakes by this weekend. The only reports early this week were coming off Ellingson Lake for sunfish in 15 feet or West Battle Lake for crappies in 18 to 22 feet.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
There has been no one fishing this past week again because of the deep snow and a lot of slush. The good news is with the warmer weather the snow is starting to settle a bit. With more melting, hopefully anglers will be able to get back out and chase some perch and panfish soon.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172
There hasn’t been a lot of people fishing, but those going are catching perch on Blackduck Lake, Round Lake, and Island Lake in 8 to 12 feet. Most people were using snowmobiles early this week and have been able to stay on top of the snow, but there continues to be pockets of slush that are causing travel issues.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
The snow has settled, but there is some slush to deal with on the bigger lakes. Anglers are driving trucks on some small lakes or using snowmobiles and ATVs on others. Hit the Highway 371 Bay on North Long Lake for sunfish in 6 to 10 feet and crappies in 16 to 20 feet. On Nisswa Lake, sunfish are being caught in less than 10 feet, and crappies are hitting during low-light periods in 18 to 22 feet.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Pike Bay Lake continues to produce numbers of perch, as is the Star Island area or east shoreline of Cass Lake on the 6- to 9-foot sand. Eelpout are being found on both lakes in 30 feet or more. Trucks and ATVs are being used on the spots being fished, you just have to watch for old road banks and drifts.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Hit the south end of Chisago Lake for crappies and sunfish in 8 to 11 feet, while some crappies are being pulled from the 30-foot hole as well. South Center Lake and North Center Lake are producing a mixed bag of panfish in 8 to 12 feet. The “roadbed” area on South Lindstrom Lake is kicking out crappies and sunfish as well. A few trucks are being utilized, but most anglers continue to walk on area lakes due to slush problems.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
Lake conditions have improved as the snow is starting to settle, but there is still slush to deal with. People are walking on most lakes and using snowmobiles on others. Rainbow trout are being found suspended in the top 25 feet of the water column over deep water on Manuel Pit, Yackey Pit, and Huntington Pit. Panfish reports have been minimal, mainly due to the fact that people are forced to go where they can. Look to those traditional late ice spots in shallow water as conditions improve.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Anglers are starting to get around a bit better on some lakes by foot or with track vehicles, but trucks weren’t an option early this week. Sunfish and crappies are being found suspended over 18 to 22 feet at Cotton Lake, Height of Land Lake, Lake Melissa, and under the bridge on Big Detroit Lake. A few people have been hitting Long Lake for tullibees over deep water, but they have been walking out.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
There’s now a stretch of open water on Lake Superior from just north of Two Harbors up to Grand Marais. The ice from Duluth to Two Harbors has stayed intact and people were fishing it early this week. Sucker minnows or smelt are producing lake trout tight to the bottom in 100 to 200 feet. Some coho salmon and herring are being found suspended about 25 feet down over 50 to 75 feet. The inland lakes remain slush-covered and difficult to get on.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
The snow is starting to melt off area lakes, but it’s leaving a lot of water behind. There’s still plenty of ice, but fishing pressure has been light over the past week due to sloppy lake conditions.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985
Bucktails or tubes are producing lake trout on Burntside Lake and Snowbank Lake over 30 to 50 feet. Crappies remain active on Gabbro Lake and Fall Lake over 20 to 30 feet early and late each day. Judd Lake, Tofte Lake, and Miner’s Lake are producing rainbow trout in 15 feet or less. Snowmobiles remain the best travel option, but riders are encountering pockets of slush.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
There’s still a lot of slush on lakes throughout the area so there hasn’t been a lot of fishing activity. ATVs and snowmobiles are being used on Lake Mary where a few crappies are being caught in 16 to 22 feet.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
Deep snow and slush continues to limit where anglers can get to and some shoreline areas have started to pull away. Yellow bass and crappies are being caught in 15 to 20 feet on Budd Lake or north side of Hall Lake. People are walking on these lakes.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
Anglers were using ATVs or walking out on area lakes early this week. There is slush on top of the ice and some shorelines have started to pull away so that might limit where people are able to go by this weekend. Look for sunfish during the day and crappies during the evening hours on Shields Lake in 8 to 10 feet, Cedar Lake in 16 to 18 feet, and French Lake in 20 to 23 feet.
John’s Bait & Tackle (507) 332-6787
FERGUS FALLS AREA
Lake conditions have improved since last week, so snowmobiles and some ATVs are being used if they can stay on top of the snow. Bass Lake by Underwood and Norway Lake are producing sunfish and a few crappies. Some are being found in less than 12 feet, while others continue to be located over deep water and suspended. Look to Pebble Lake and Jewett Lake for suspended tullibees over 30 feet.
Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Lake trout continue to be caught on minnows, smelt, or salted minnows at Trout Lake down 25 to 35 feet, West Bearskin Lake at 25 to 40 feet, Duncan Lake down 20 to 35 feet, and Loon Lake over 35 to 45 feet. Most anglers are using snowmobiles, but they are encountering some pockets of slush.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
GREY EAGLE AREA
Lady Lake, Pine Lake, Big Swan Lake, the northeast corner of Long Lake by the Hub Supper Club, and Hunter’s Bay on Big Birch Lake have seen some panfish activity on them. There’s still a lot of slush to deal with on area lakes so most anglers have been forced to walk out, but those going are finding panfish.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Lake conditions have improved since last week with the snow melting and the top several inches are now a frozen crust. Walking out, ATVs, and snowmobiles are again options for getting on lakes. Birch Lake is kicking out bluegills in 10 to 15 feet, while Stoney Lake and Webb Lake are giving up crappies during the evening hours in 15 to 20 feet. Look to Pleasant Lake, Mule Lake, and Moccasin Lake for crappies and bluegills in shallower water, 8 to 15 feet, during the day.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
Lake conditions have improved a bit since last week with snowmobiles or other track vehicles again being used, but you’ll still encounter some areas with slush on most lakes. Perch are being caught in 12 to 14 feet on Woman Lake. Lantern Bay is producing panfish in shallower water. Crappies are being caught on Wabedo Lake in 12 to 14 feet or the 10- to 12-foot weeds on Boy Lake.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
It’s still pretty difficult to get on any lakes with deep snow and slush preventing anglers from going out. Even walking on the lakes in this area is difficult and that’s meant no fishing to speak of since last week.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
Big Stone Lake remains sloppy, but people with track vehicles are getting out and doing quite well for perch. Most fish are being taken in 10 to 12 feet near Mallard Point and the Rocky Ledge area.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Most people are walking on area lakes, but still dealing with slush and deep snow. Fish Hook Lake is producing sunfish in 8 to 12 feet and crappies in 20 to 24 feet. Look to Sixth Crow Wing Lake for a mixed bag of panfish in 12 to 20 feet.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
Work the 11- to 14-foot weeds on Star Lake, Big Pine Lake, and Rush Lake for sunfish and crappies. You’ll find suspended tullibees over deep water at Star, Long Lake, and Little Pine Lake. There’s still quite a bit of slush to deal with so anglers continue to walk out to the aforementioned spots.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Walleye and sauger action has been very good on the Mississippi River and there has been better numbers of big fish in the mix this week. A jig and minnow or Dubuque Rigs are working best in 18 to 22 feet. Water levels are rising a bit on the river, but should remain plenty fishable through the weekend.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Getting on local lakes continues to be difficult due to slush, although some people have been walking out. They too are breaking through a top layer of snow and hitting slush once it warms up and softens throughout the day. Look to Schneider Lake for sunfish and few crappies in 5 to 8 feet. Grand Lake and Eden Lake are producing some sunfish in 8 to 12 feet.
Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975
SAUK CENTRE AREA
The north end of Lake Osakis continues to produce crappies and sunfish in 10 to 12 feet or 18 to 22 feet. You’ll also find sunfish in 10 to 12 feet on the north end of Fairy Lake. The snow has melted enough that walking out or ATV use should not be an issue on area lakes.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
Early this week, anglers were still dealing with quite a bit of slush and water on area lakes, but a handful have been walking out. Willmar/Foot Lake is giving up crappies over 20 feet, as is the north end of Eagle Lake in 30 to 35 feet.
J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Tackle (320) 235-4097
Slush and snow continues to limit where people can get to and most have been walking out on area lakes. With that stated, lake conditions have improved a bit since last week and there has been a few more anglers venturing out. Crappies are being caught on Lake Lac qui Parle in 6 to 12 feet and ATVs are being used here.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880