Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report for April 5, 2019

Great Eight


Resorts have closed their accesses so there hasn’t but much activity on the lake. A few people were walking on the south end bays for crappies, but the bite has slowed.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430


Some anglers are still ice fishing with portable houses on the south shore and northern pike action remains hot in 12 feet with live sucker minnows or deadbait on quick strike rigs. Auger extensions are needed. On the Rainy River, boat ramps at Birchdale and Frontier are open. More open water on the river daily and big walleyes are being caught. Jigs tipped with a minnow or plastic are working, as is trolling crankbaits with success. There’s been plenty of sturgeon caught as well. At the Northwest Angle,  a few people are still ice fishing for walleyes, sauger, northern pike, and perch in 14 to 22 feet. 

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


With the exception of some channel areas, you could still get on most lakes as of Tuesday morning. Some shorelines have deteriorated, but most were still intact as of Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough people fishing to gather any reports – most anglers seem content waiting for open water. 

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227


There really hasn’t been anyone on the lake over the past week. There’s water coming over the dam and that has compromised main lake ice conditions.  

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430


Fishing pressure continues to be very minimal with limited access options throughout the lake. There’s still a lot of main lake ice, but the few people venturing out continue to report deep pockets or areas with significant slush so travel of any type is difficult.

Lake Winnie Resort Association                   


Many anglers have been walking out and some shorelines are getting soft, but ATVs were being used on some access areas early this week as well. Perch reports have been good in 4 to 8 feet off Sand Point, Pine Point, and Agency Bay Narrows. Tullibee reports also have been decent off Stoney Point in 25 to 35 feet, and Shingobee Bay is giving up a mixed bag of panfish.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250


Ice fishing pressure continues to be non-existent, even though lake conditions would allow anglers to get out. Most people have been focusing on the Rainy River walleye bite over the past week. Boats are launching from Nelson Park at Birchdale and some big walleyes have been caught, but the best fishing is still to come. 

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766


The shorelines and main lake ice conditions remain good, but there hasn’t been anyone on the lake looking for crappies. 

Mort’s On Upper Red (218) 647-8128

JR’s Corner Access (320) 290-3838

Twin Cities Metro


High water conditions continue to prevent anglers from getting boats on area rivers. Ice fishing options also have ended with most shorelines no longer favorable to access area lakes.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421


The ice fishing season has come to an end with marginal ice and open shorelines now common throughout the area. With warm weather in the forecast late this week, the ice is expected to deteriorate quickly.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022



A few people were walking out last weekend, but most shorelines have now deteriorated to the point that ice fishing likely won’t be an option or advised by this weekend.

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


There’s still plenty of main lake ice, but it is starting to show signs of a spring thaw. The shorelines also have busted open, many channels have open water, as does anything with current moving through a lake. The ice fishing season has ended.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297


Some shorelines and access areas are getting beat up so anglers are walking on area lakes. Look to West Battle Lake in 10 to 15 for sunfish and 15 to 20 feet for crappies. Hit Rush Lake and Wall Lake for crappies and sunfish in 15 to 20 feet. Tullibees continue to be found suspended over deep water at Mollie Stark Lake and Clitherall Lake.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596


Most anglers in the area have packed up their gear for the winter. Most of the accesses on area lakes are still in decent shape, but the ice is starting to pull away from the shoreline on some lakes. Some jumbo perch are being caught off Diamond Point and the Cameron Park area on Lake Bemidji. 

Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172


Ice conditions remain favorable, shorelines are intact, and snowmobiles or ATVs were being used early this week. Blackduck Lake, Island Lake, and Round Lake are giving up perch in 7 to 12 feet. Crappie action is limited to a few fish off Blackduck and Round, but bluegills are going on Gull Lake in 10 to 15 feet. 

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636


You’ll find crappies in 5 to 10 feet and sunfish as shallow as 3 to 6 feet on North Long Lake, Pelican Lake, and Nisswa Lake. Main lake ice remains strong, but some shorelines have started to deteriorate so fishing options could change by this weekend.

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


Perch remain active on Pike Bay Lake or the Star Island area of Cass Lake in 7 feet, but the size of these fish has diminished. Grace Lake started giving up bluegills and Portage Lake is kicking out crappies. You’ll find tullibees over 35 feet or more on Cass. Snowmobiles and ATVs were being used early this week, but the shorelines are starting to bust loose so that might not be an option by this weekend.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831              


Fishing options have become limited now that most shorelines have pulled away enough to prevent anglers from getting on area lakes. There’s still plenty of main lake ice, but getting to it has become nearly impossible.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334


Main lake ice remains intact, but getting on it has become difficult. As a result, most ice fishing options will likely be ended by this weekend. If you do a find a lake to get on look for sunfish and crappies in any shallow weed areas.

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


Height of Land Lake, Lake Melissa, and Lake Ida are giving up sunfish in 12 to 15 feet and crappies over 15 to 20 feet. Star Lake and Long Lake continue to produce tullibees, which are suspended over deep water. Some accesses are starting to get beat up, while others remain intact. It depends on the lake, but foot traffic or ATV use should be a go this weekend.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248


A handful of anglers continued to walk on a couple of lakes last weekend, but that might not be an option any longer. Most shorelines on the inland lakes have busted loose and the ice is reported as soft. The rivers and creeks are flowing and the ice has blown out from the shoreline on Lake Superior. This has allowed anglers to fish from shore in the Lester River area for Kamloops and coho salmon. The bite is just starting and should only get better over the next week.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094


The shorelines and access areas have now deteriorated enough that getting on area lakes has become difficult. A few anglers were walking out early this week, but fishing pressure has been limited.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985


Early this week, the shorelines and accesses remained intact, the snow is off the lakes and ATVs were being used. You also need to avoid any current areas, which have started to open. Crappie action remains strong during the morning hours over 20 to 25 feet at Fall Lake, Garden Lake, South Farm Lake, and Birch Lake. 

Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358


Anglers continue to use ATVs or walk on area lakes with some shorelines more beat up than others. Fishing pressure has been very limited, despite the fact that you could still get on most lakes without any issues early this week.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191


With the exception of some floating ice on a couple lakes, most are wide open. Lakes George, Sissiton, and Budd are among those that are already ice-free, so look for those to start providing open-water crappie action soon.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225


Ice fishing is no longer an option with the shorelines now open quite a ways on area lakes. Some lakes have stretches of open water as well. Anglers have started fishing for panfish below the dams and slack water areas of the Cannon River.

John’s Bait & Tackle (507) 332-6787


Anglers are limited to walking on area lakes and they are encountering a top later of slush and water before they hit solid ice. Tullibees are being found suspended over deep water at Pebble Lake and Jewett Lake. Panfish reports have been sporadic with some fish coming off Norway Lake and Anna Lake in shallow water.

Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050


Fishing pressure has dropped way off now that trout season is closed. There’s been some limited walleye reports coming off the border lakes such as Saganaga, but there isn’t a lot of people ice fishing at this point. The streams are starting to bust loose and a few anglers have found some steelhead, but most seem to be staged outside the rivers.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280


The shorelines on area lakes have pulled away enough that anglers can no longer get on the ice. A few anglers have been using creative means to get on a couple lakes, but that will likely end by this weekend as well.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405


A few accesses are starting to get beat up, but ATVs were being used on most lakes early this week. Bluegills are being caught on Birch Lake, Pleasant Lake, Mule Lake, and Broadwater Bay on Woman Lake in 8 to 12 feet of water. The better crappie reports have been coming from 15 feet of water or deeper on Birch, Pleasant, the north side of Webb Lake, and Stoney Lake. 

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


Shoreline ice varies from 6 to 12 inches with some areas opening up a bit more. On the main lake, there’s still 18 to 24 inches of ice with a little slush on top. Crappies have begun to hit in Lost Bay, Ash River and other traditional staging areas. Perch action has been hit or miss over deep mud.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121


The shorelines have now pulled away enough that ice fishing is no longer an option on any lake. The anglers going out last weekend also reported that the ice was getting soft.

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


The south end of Big Stone Lake, by the bridge, is open in a small stretch. There’s still a lot of main lake ice, but it’s getting soft and the shorelines have started to open. By this weekend, it’s likely that you won’t be able to walk on the lake.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480


Third, Fourth, and Sixth Crow Wing lakes continue to produce sunfish on the 8- to 12-foot weedbeds. Look for crappies on Boulder Lake and Big Mantrap Lake over 20 to 25 feet. The shorelines and accesses have started to bust loose a bit, but ATVs or walking out are still options and should be this weekend if it doesn’t get too warm.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099


With the shorelines deteriorating, ice fishing options have become limited. There was still a few anglers heading out early this week, but with warm weather expected, getting on any lake could be difficult by this weekend.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355


Water levels on the Mississippi River were still rising early this week, but it was expected to crest mid-week. Boat ramps remained closed and it looks like it might be another week before the river again becomes accessible.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334


Ice conditions continue to deteriorate fast. Anything with moving water is starting to open and poor shoreline conditions have prevented anglers from getting on other lakes. The ice on most main lake areas is starting to look poor as well.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975


As of Tuesday morning, anglers were walking on Fairy Lake and Maple Lake and using ATVs on Lake Osakis. The shorelines are deteriorating fast so getting on by this weekend could be difficult. The north side and southwest corner of Fairy is producing sunfish in 10 to 12 feet, the east shore of Maple is giving up sunfish in 10 to 14 feet, and the north end of Osakis continues to kick out crappies and sunfish in 10 to 12 feet.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155


Anglers are waiting for the marinas and bays to open now that ice fishing is no longer an option. The shorelines on area lakes have busted loose and main lake ice is starting to show of a spring thaw as well.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239


The shorelines have started to open and main lake ice is getting soft. A few anglers were walking on some lakes early this week and catching panfish.  With warm weather expected, those might not be options by this weekend so call ahead. Foot Lake, Long Lake, Green Lake, and Big Calhoun Lake have seen some activity for panfish in shallow water.

J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Tackle (320) 235-4097


Most lake edges have opened enough to put an end to the ice fishing season. Main lake ice also is deteriorating and with warm weather expected this week, the ice could go out quickly.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

Categories: MInnesota Fishing Reports, News

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