Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report for March 29
LAKE MILLE LACS
Snowmobiles and ATVs were being used early this week, but it’s worth noting that most resorts have shut their accesses down for the season. So definitely call ahead before making the trek. Fishing activity has been light, limited to some crappie action in the south end bays.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
For those still ice fishing the south end early this week, walleye action has been good in 15 to 31 feet. Northern pike action has been excellent with many fish over 40 inches caught this week. Auger extensions are needed, however. Call ahead to resorts for ice fishing options going into this weekend. The Rainy River was opening up just to the east of Birchdale on Monday and it’s happening quick. A strong current is helping eat up the ice, so there could be more boat options soon. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes, sauger, and jumbo perch are coming from 14 to 22 feet. This time of year, call ahead to resorts for daily ice information.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
A few people have been walking on area lakes, but fishing pressure has been very light. Basically, the top six inches is honeycombed and soft with solid ice beneath it. The shorelines also have deteriorated so accessing some lakes has become more difficult.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
The lake has a lot of water and some slush on top of it. There’s been a few anglers using ATVs in search of crappies, but crappie success and fishing pressure has been extremely limited over the past week.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Fishing pressure continues to be light with limited access options throughout the lake. Most resorts have shut their roads down so call ahead going into this weekend.
There is still quite a bit of slush in spots and some shorelines have started to pull away, but ATVs were being used early this week. That may change by the weekend so call ahead. Tullibees were being found suspended off Stony Point and other deep-water locations. Perch reports have improved off Sand Point, in the Narrows, and in Agency Bay over 9 to 12 feet. You still have to do some sorting, but better numbers of jumbos were being caught.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
Anglers aren’t reporting much as lake conditions aren’t that good for traveling. A few die-hards that are getting out are having limited success for walleyes and crappies. An alternative might be to look for an open launch on the Rainy River this weekend. The ice is opening up, and launches will be open soon if the mild weather continues.
International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766
Activity throughout the lake remains minimal, although you could still get on the ice early this week. Crappie and perch reports continued to be non-existent.
Mort’s On Upper Red (218) 647-8128
JR’s Corner Access (320) 290-3838
Twin Cities Metro
There were still some lakes in good enough shape to walk on early this week, but very few people were heading out. The shorelines have started to open so that might come to an end by this weekend. River fishing also has been put on hold due to rising and high water levels on them.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
A handful of people were walking on a few lakes last weekend, but that has since ended. Many shorelines and accesses have busted loose or opened enough to prevent anglers from getting on any longer.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
Crappie and sunfish action has picked up in less than 10 feet on Lake Sylvia, Clearwater Lake, Sugar Lake, Granite Lake, and Maple Lake. Many accesses and shorelines are starting to get beat up so walking out will likely be the best option by this weekend.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Crappies are being caught in 15 to 20 feet and sunfish are being found in 10 to 15 feet on West Battle Lake, Rush Lake, and Walker Lake. Look for suspended tullibees over 30 feet or more on Mollie Stark Lake and Clitherall Lake. Most shorelines and accesses have started to deteriorate so walking on area lakes is now the best option.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
The snow has settled and melted a lot on area lakes and for the first time in weeks there are people back out fishing. Snowmobiles, ATVs, or walking are your best bets for getting around. There is plenty of ice to support trucks, but there is still a lot of slush under that top layer of ice and avoid going close to any snow banks on the lakes. Perch and some tullibees are being caught on Lake Bemidji in 30 feet or more. Jigging spoons and minnow heads or waxworms are turning the majority of fish.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172
Snowmobiles and ATVs are being used on all lakes, but there are some slush pockets to avoid. Blackduck Lake and Round Lake are producing perch and some crappies in 8 to 10 feet. Look to Gull Lake and Pimushe Lake for bluegills in 15 to 20 feet of water.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
Anglers are walking on most lakes, and there is quite a bit of slush on the bigger lakes. Sunfish action has been good on most lakes in 10 to 12 feet, while crappies remain active in the Highway 371 Bay of North Long Lake, Cullen Lake, and Lake Edwards in 18 to 24 feet.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Jumbo perch remain active during midday hours on Pike Bay Lake and in Allen’s Bay or the Star Island area on Cass Lake in 7 feet – bigger spoons are turning bigger fish. Snowmobiles are being used on most lakes, but the top layer of ice gets soft during the middle of the day. Avoid any snow piles or snow-packed areas.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
There were some limited ATV options early this week, but walking out is the suggested option on area lakes at this point as most accesses were deteriorating. Sunfish and crappies are being caught in the channel area and south end of Chisago Lake. North Lindstrom Lake and the Dinner Bell area on South Lindstrom Lake were giving up panfish in 6 to 10 feet as well.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
Find pockets of green, standing weeds and you should find crappies and bluegills on Bay Lake, Black Hoof Lake, and Rogers Lake in 7 to 12 feet. Milford Lake is producing sunfish in 14 to 17 feet, and rainbow trout are being caught on Huntington Pit over 80 feet or more with spoons and waxworms. There’s no issues getting on area lakes, but there is a top layer of ice/slush that gets soft during the afternoon hours, which makes it more difficult for ATV use.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Look to Height of Land Lake, Big Detroit Lake (under Long Bridge), and Lake Melissa for suspended crappies and sunfish over 15 feet. Tullibee action has picked up on Long Lake and Star Lake – look for suspended fish over deep water. There’s still quite a bit of slush on most lakes, so track vehicles remain the best travel option.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
The shipping season has begun on Lake Superior, which means shifting ice and open water in spots, and that’s put an end to ice fishing opportunities on it. Conditions on the inland lakes are poor with a lot of slush and some shoreline separation beginning, so fishing pressure has been minimal.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Anglers are walking on area lakes and dealing with slush on most. Look to Blue Lake and Green Lake in 12 to 14 feet for a mixed bag of panfish. Overall, fishing pressure has been light.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985
Crappie action has picked up South Farm Lake, Farm Lake, Fall Lake, and Bass Lake in over 20 to 25 feet. Hit Burntside Lake with white tubes in 30 to 50 feet of water for lake trout. The deep humps on Burntside and Snowbank Lake are holding eelpout. Splake have been hitting flashy spoons at Hanson Lake and Tofte Lake in less than 15 feet of water. Lake conditions have improved, the slush is gone, so trucks and ATVs are being used throughout the area.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
Ice conditions have deteriorated a lot since last week. The shorelines have pulled away and pockets of open water are noticeable on some lakes. Other lakes were already about half open early this week.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
FERGUS FALLS AREA
There’s a bit of slush in some spots, but lake conditions have improved. ATVs were being used on most lakes early this week, but some accesses are starting to deteriorate. Wall Lake started giving up sunfish and crappies in 8 to 10 feet. Look for suspended tullibees over deep water on Pebble Lake. The 12-foot weed edges on Anna Lake are producing crappies, while Norway Lake is giving up sunfish and a few crappies in less than 6 feet.
Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Salted minnows or waxworms are turning rainbow trout and splake on Mink Lake in 15 to 20 feet. On Trout Lake, rainbow trout are hitting in 12 to 15 feet, as are lake trout over 20 to 35 feet. Anglers have been walking on most lakes and dealing with some slush.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
GREY EAGLE AREA
Anglers are walking out on most lakes, but the shorelines on anything with a north end access are starting to pull away. The northeast corner of Long Lake by the Hub Supper Club, Lady Lake, Pine Lake, and Hunter’s Bay on Big Birch Lake continue to produce panfish in shallow water. Anglers heading a bit out of the area to Pillager Lake are catching tullibees on freshwater shrimp.
Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405
Bluegills are hitting in 8 to 12 feet at Birch Lake, Pleasant Lake, Ten Mile Lake, and Child Lake. Look for suspended crappies over 14 to 18 feet on Webb Lake, Stoney Lake, and Birch. There is layer of slush on area lakes, but ATVs were being used without many issues early this week.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
Lake conditions have improved and ATVs are the best travel option right now. Lantern Bay on Woman Lake and the north bay on Mule Lake are giving up crappies and sunfish in less than 9 feet. The perch bite on Woman also has picked up, some sorting is involved, but you can put together a bunch of nice fish near Government Point in less than 12 feet.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
Crappie and sunfish action has picked up quite a bit this week on Knife Lake, Ann Lake, Mud Lake, and Fish Lake in 5 to 7 feet. Most shorelines were in good shape early this week, but walking out is suggested.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
The shorelines on Big Stone Lake have busted loose and the accesses have started to pull away as well. By this weekend, there likely won’t be any shot of getting on the ice.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Anglers are walking out or using snowmobiles on area lakes. Sunfish are biting on Fourth Crow Wing and Sixth Crow Wing lakes in 8 to 10 feet or Fish Hook Lake in 8 to 14 feet. Look to Big Mantrap Lake for suspended crappies over 20 to 25 feet.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
RED WING AREA
Water levels on the Mississippi River were still rising early this week and there is a lot of debris floating on it. Staying off the river until the water recedes is advised and could be mandatory by this weekend.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Most shorelines are deteriorating fast so even walking out might not be an option by this weekend. On the Sauk River Chain, water levels have risen several feet and some flooding has started to occur as well.
Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975
SAUK CENTRE AREA
The 10- to 12-foot weeds on the north end of Lake Osakis continue to produce sunfish and crappies. Fairy Lake is kicking out sunfish in 10 to 12 feet, as is the east shore and northwest corner of Maple Lake in 10 to 15 feet. Look to Long Bridge Lake for sunfish and crappies in 14 feet. Accesses were intact and ATVs were being used early this week on all lakes.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
A few anglers are fishing the Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska and catching sunfish in 12 to 14 feet. The northeast bay on Reno Lake was giving up a mixed bag of panfish in shallow water. There was water and some slush on top of the ice, but most accesses remained favorable for walking out early this week.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
Early this week, most shorelines were holding up, there was quite a bit of water on top of the ice, but people were walking on some lakes. Look to Diamond Lake and Nest Lake for crappies in 16 to 20 feet. Foot Lake was giving up crappies in 12 to 15 feet and Big Kandi Lake is producing perch in less than 6 feet.
J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Tackle (320) 235-4097
Perch action has picked up in 5 to 8 feet on Bloody Lake, Fox Lake, and Lake Shetek. Lake Lac qui Parle continued to give up crappies in 6 to 12 feet. Some shorelines and access areas are starting to open or get beat up so walking out will likely be the only option this weekend.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880