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Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – Dec. 27, 2019

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

Most fishing activity remains in the bays, on shoreline points and breaks, or some reefs and other structure close to shore. Snowmobiles or ATVs with chains are best in the bays, and some resorts are allowing foot travel a bit farther out. Expect to find slush and varying ice depths throughout the lake, so continue to work through a resort as you venture out.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Walleyes are sauger are being caught in 23 to 30 feet during the day, but there is some consistent walleye action in 16 to 18 feet early and late each day along the south shore. Glow or gold jigging spoons are turning fish, but deadsticks and shiner minnows are just as productive many days. There still isn’t much activity on the Rainy River, but resorts do have fish houses out at the Northwest Angle, and walleye reports have been strong.

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

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

The 10- to 14-foot weedlines in Wayzata Bay and the North Arm of Lake Minnetonka started giving up panfish. Crappie action has been best over 12 to 14 feet in Seton Channel or Black Lake on Minnetonka. Deadsticks with fatheads or small sucker minnows are turning a few walleyes on the west side of Lake Independence in 18 to 20 feet. Northern pike action remains strong in the bays throughout Minnetonka and Medicine Lake in 14 to 18 feet. Anglers are reporting 6 to 8 inches of ice in most areas being fished.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

Snowmobiles and ATVs are being used, and larger wheelhouses are being set in many areas of the lake. Walleye action has been best early and late each day out of McKinely Park in Big Bay out to the mouth of Pike Bay around the 18- to 22-foot reefs. Setlines and shiners or spoons seem to be working equally well. Northern pike action has picked up – spearing and angling – in Stuntz Bay over 9 feet. 

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Perch are being caught on the points and shoreline breaks in less than 12 feet, but you’ll have to sort through some small fish. The main-lake bars and humps have produced a few bigger perch and some walleyes in 16 to 20 feet. Angling and spearing for northern pike remain strong throughout the lake in 6 to 10 feet. Ice conditions remain favorable, with 10 inches or more reported lakewide.

Lake Winnie Resort Association                   

LEECH LAKE

There’s been a bit more walleye activity on the shoreline breaks in Walker Bay, but ice depths still vary a lot so extreme caution is advised, especially the farther out you go. There’s also been some walleye activity on the main lake, primarily out from Pine Point, Trapper’s Landing, and Bear Island in 12 to 14 feet. Slush remains an issue in most areas, so it’s probably best to work through a resort or private access.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE     

Anglers are getting out with portable gear, but ice roads have not been plowed. Minnows and jigs are producing walleyes during the morning hours, out from the easy access areas around Birch Point and Black Bay. Despite the frigid weather, there are areas with fairly strong current that need more time to build ice, and the sheltered bays are the best bet.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766

RED LAKE

Walleye action remains strong as more of the lake becomes accessible. Anglers are finding good ice and consistent walleye fishing on and around Center Bar and areas east of it. Many anglers aren’t going that far out and are still catching walleyes on the south shore and northeast corner of the lake in 11 to 13 feet. While spoons are turning fish, a more subtle deadstick approach seems to be producing a few more walleyes.

Mort’s On Upper Red (218) 647-8128

JR’s Corner Access (320) 290-3838

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

Anglers are walking on most lakes and using ATVs on others. The Bayport area of the St. Croix River is kicking out walleyes on jigs and shiner minnows in 20 to 30 feet. Demontreville Lake and Olson Lake are producing bass and northern pike on tip-ups and shiners in 12 to 15 feet and crappies during low-light periods in 20 feet. Hit the weedlines on Big Marine Lake and Big Carnelian Lake for northern pike. White Bear Lake is giving up a few crappies and walleyes in 20 to 30 feet.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

Tip-ups and sucker minnows are producing northern pike in 10 to 12 feet on Lake Minnewashta, Zumbra Lake, and Pierson Lake. Low-light periods have been best for crappies on Whaletail Lake in 8 to 10 feet, Hydes Lake in 12 feet, and Pierson in 14 to 18 feet. Walking out is the best option on most lakes, and some limited ATV use has started on a few.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

SOUTH METRO

The north end of Prior Lake continues to kick out sunfish in 12 to 14 feet and crappies in 18 to 24 feet. Lake Marion, Lake O’Dowd, and Prior are kicking out northern pike on tip-ups and shiner minnows in 10 to 14 feet. Walleye reports have been light, and anglers are walking out on 5 to 8 inches of ice.

Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Walleyes are hitting glow jigs or shiner minnows during low-light periods on Lake Geneva in 18 to 22 feet, Reno Lake in 12 to 16 feet, and Lake Miltona in 18 to 24 feet. Crappies and sunfish are being taken in less than 12 feet on many of the area’s small lakes, with better reports coming off Lake Mary, Lake Carlos, Christopherson’s Bay on Lake Ida, and Lake Le Homme Dieu. Most anglers are now using ATVs on area lakes.

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

ANNANDALE AREA

Buffalo Lake, Clearwater Lake, and Lake Sylvia are giving up walleyes during low-light periods in 15 to 22 feet – setlines and shiner minnows are working better than spoons. Tip-ups and sucker minnows continue to produce northern pike in 12 to 14 feet on Maple Lake, Clearwater, Granite Lake, Cedar Lake, and Lake John. Look for sunfish in 8 to 14 feet and suspended crappies over 15 to 25 feet on Clearwater, Sylvia, Maple, John, and Sugar Lake. Anglers are reporting 5 to 8 inches of ice.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BLACKDUCK AREA

Island Lake and Round Lake remain safe bets for walleyes in 10 to 14 feet. Blackduck Lake is giving up a mixed bag of fish, including walleyes, perch, and pike in 8 to 12 feet and bluegills and crappies in 20 to 24 feet. Crappies and bluegills also remain active in 18 to 24 feet on Pimushe Lake, Gilstead Lake, and Rabideau Lake. ATVs, snowmobiles, and some trucks are being used on area lakes.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

Gull Lake, Round Lake, and North Long Lake are producing some walleyes early and late each day in 12 to 18 feet. Northern pike remain active in less than 10 feet at Lake Edwards, Nisswa Lake, north end of Gull, and the Highway 371 Bay on North Long. Bluegills and crappies have started hitting a bit better on most lakes in 8 to 15 feet. Ice conditions haven’t changed much from last week, with 5 to 10 inches reported on area lakes.

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

CASS LAKE AREA

Anglers are getting on most lakes, but not everywhere they’d like to due to slush. Look for perch on the 6-foot sand/grass areas out from the town access on Cass Lake or the east and west ends of Pike Bay Lake. The 14- to 16-foot weed edges on these lakes will produce walleyes during low-light periods, as is Allen’s Bay on Cass in similar depths. Northern pike are being taken in 8 to 10 feet in Allen’s Bay on Cass and Wolf Lake, while crappies are being caught in 10 to 12 feet on Lake Andrusia and Wolf.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831              

CHISAGO AREA   

Northern pike and sunfish are hitting on Big Green Lake and Little Green Lake in 6 to 12 feet. Work the channel between South Lindstrom Lake and Chisago Lake for pike, sunfish, crappies, and an occasional walleye in 15 to 17 feet. The bays on Chisago and South Center Lake are providing a mixed bag of panfish in 6 to 10 feet. You’ll find 5 to 8 inches of ice on most lakes.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

DULUTH AREA   

Anglers continue to be limited where they can go due to deep snow and slush on area lakes. There is some walleye action taking place with deadsticks and chubs on Boulder Lake in 15 to 17 feet, while Rice Lake is kicking out northern pike and a few walleyes in 6 feet. Look to the Hi-Banks area on Fish Lake for crappies during the evening hours in 12 to 14 feet.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

ELY AREA

You’ll find bluegills in 6 to 10 feet and crappies over 15 to 25 feet on One Pine Lake, Birch Lake, and Bass Lake. Walleyes continue to be taken with shiner minnows in 18 to 22 feet on Shagawa Lake and One Pine. Tip-ups and sucker minnows are the ticket for northern pike in the bays of White Iron Lake, Lake Isabella, and South Farm Lake.

Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358

EMILY AREA 

With the exception of some northern pike angling/spearing close to shore on a few lakes, there hasn’t been a lot of activity. Anglers continue to check lake conditions and are still finding about 7 inches of ice on most, but deep snow and slush is really limiting where they can get to on all area lakes.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191

FAIRMONT AREA

Look to Budd Lake and Sisseton Lake for bluegills and crappies in 12 to 16 feet. Budd and Hall Lake continue to kick out crappies and yellow bass over 15 to 20 feet, while Amber Lake is worth noting for crappies in 10 to 14 feet. Ice depths remain the same as a week ago – about 7 to 10 inches on most lakes.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

FERGUS FALLS AREA

Look to Wall Lake for a mixed bag of panfish in 10 to 12 feet, and Fish Lake is giving up crappies and a few walleyes during low-light periods over 10 to 15 feet. Walleyes and crappies also remain active early and late each day on Dayton Hollow Reservoir and Orwell Reservoir in 8 to 11 feet. Anglers are still dealing with pockets of slush, but are reporting 6 to 10 inches of ice on area lakes.

Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050

GRAND MARAIS AREA

A jig or plain hook and minnow is turning walleyes in 8 to 10 feet on Crescent Lake. Perch and walleyes are going on Elbow Lake, as are walleyes on South Fowl Lake in less than 6 feet. Tip-ups with smelt or sucker minnows are producing northern pike on Poplar Lake in 6 to 10 feet and Devil Track Lake in 10 to 15 feet. The lakes where people are fishing now have 10 to 12 inches of ice.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA 

There’s some evening crappie action on Bowstring Lake and Sand Lake in 14 to 18 feet. Walleye reports have been light, but northern pike seem to be active in less than 12 feet on most lakes. You’ll also find a mixed bag of panfish on Little Cutfoot Sioux Lake in 18 to 20 feet, but travel is difficult due to deep snow and slush on it. Generally, 8 to 10 inches of ice is being found, but slush is an issue on most lakes. The area’s small lakes are especially difficult to get on.

Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710

GREY EAGLE AREA

Hunter’s Bay on Big Birch Lake is producing sunfish and northern pike in 8 to 10 feet. You’ll also find a few crappies and walleyes at the mouth of the bay in 15 feet. Tip-ups and sucker minnows are producing northern pike straight out from the access on Pine Lake. Anglers are reporting 4 to 8 inches of ice and some slush on top of it.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

HACKENSACK AREA 

Sunfish are being caught in 15 to 20 feet on Birch Lake, Ten Mile Lake, and the north end of Pleasant Lake. Look for crappies over 18 to 22 feet during low-light periods at Birch, Webb Lake, and the north end of Mule Lake. Hit Baby Lake during the evening hours for a few walleyes in 18 to 22 feet. Anglers are still working through quite a bit of slush on area lakes and finding 6 to 10 inches of ice below it.

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

LONGVILLE AREA

Ice depths vary greatly from lake to lake and from spot to spot on them. Anglers are reporting 5 to 12 inches of ice and a lot of slush on area lakes, especially close to shore. Look for crappies and sunfish in 8 to 12 feet on Lake Inguadona, Boy Lake, and Mable Lake. Northern pike are being taken in less than 10 feet on most lakes, and a few walleyes can be had on Woman Lake during the evening hours in 16 to 22 feet.

The One Stop (218) 363-2252

MADISON LAKE AREA

The narrows area on Madison Lake is producing crappies and a few walleyes in 15 to 22 feet, while East Bay is worth noting for a mixed bag of panfish and northern pike. On Lake Washington, Baker’s Bay is giving up panfish, and some walleyes are being caught between Second Point and Third Point in 18 to 24 feet early and late each day. Look to Duck Lake for panfish in 15 to 20 feet and northern pike to hit sucker minnows in 10 to 14 feet. Most lakes now have 8 to 11 inches of ice.

Corner Bait (507) 243-4464

ORTONVILLE AREA

Perch action is going strong on Big Stone Lake with many reports indicating 50 to 100 perch a day and keeping 10 to 30 fish. There are plenty of throwbacks to keep you entertained, but many anglers are catching limits, along with bluegills and a few crappies. Ice conditions have improved to 9 to 12 inches in most areas between County Road 68 and Rocky Ledge and 6 to 8 inches of ice under the deeper snowbanks. ATVs, side-by-sides, and a few snowmobiles are being utilized and bigger fish houses are being taken out. Tungsten jigs and spikes or small spoons with minnows are working best in 13 feet.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Walleyes continue to be caught during the evening hours in 14 to 20 feet on Potato Lake, Long Lake, and Fish Hook Lake. You’ll find sunfish and northern pike in 10 to 14 feet and suspended crappies over 25 to 30 feet on Fish Hook, Big Mantrap Lake, and the Crow Wing Chain. Ice depths continue to vary a lot on area lakes and there is quite a bit of slush, so watch where you’re traveling.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

Anglers are now walking on area lakes but finding pockets of slush, especially along most shorelines. Angling and spearing for northern pike has picked up in 6 to 10 feet on Grand Lake and Schneider Lake. A few walleyes are coming off Horseshoe Lake in 14 to 18 feet and Lake Koronis in 12 to 15 feet. Look for suspended crappies and sunfish over 18 to 20 feet in the bay on Big Lake or in 14 feet on Pearl Lake.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975

STARBUCK AREA

The Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska continues to produce  sunfish during the day and crappies each evening in 13 to 15 feet. Shiner minnows are turning walleyes out from the high school in 20 to 24 feet and on the Starbuck end of Minnewaska in 18 feet during low-light periods. Ice conditions remain about the same as a week ago at 10 to 12 inches on area lakes.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239

WILLMAR AREA

Walleyes, perch, and sunfish are hitting in 10 to 15 feet on Andrew Lake and Norway Lake. Diamond Lake is producing crappies in 10 to 14 feet, and you’ll find suspended crappies over 15 to 20 feet on Foot Lake. Walleyes also are being caught out from the access on Long Lake in 10 to 12 feet. Most lakes have 7 to 9 inches of ice and a layer of slush on top.

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

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Walleyes and crappies are biting during low-light periods on Lake Lac qui Parle in 8 to 12 feet. Walleyes also can be had in 5 to 8 feet on Lake Shetek, Lake Sarah, and Dead Coon Lake. East Twin Lake and Island Lake are giving up perch in 5 to 8 feet. Ice depths vary from 6 to 10 inches on area lakes.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

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