Friday, February 3rd, 2023
Friday, February 3rd, 2023

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Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – Jan. 10, 2020

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

East – ATVs are being used, but snowmobiles are allowing anglers to go just about anywhere, and there’s still pockets of slush to deal with. Continue to work through resorts for road, ice, and lake conditions. Walleyes are being caught and there’s been a good variety of sizes reported by most groups. Most are fishing in 18 to 25 feet during the day or 12 to 14 feet during low-light periods on the points and in-shore structure. 

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

West – Most of the slush is gone and the snow is compacted and froze, so ATVs and snowmobiles are being used  with no issues. Walleyes are being taken during low-light periods in 10 to 12 feet or 18 to 20 feet during the day. Work the rocks, points, and St. Alban’s Bay closer to shore. You’ll also hit walleyes on the tops and edges of the mud flats early and late each day or off the sides in deeper water during the day. 

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Overall, fishing reports have been good with a mix of saugers and walleyes. Anglers are catching some very small fish, a lot of eaters, and some trophy-caliber walleyes in 28 to 31 feet on the south shore. Use a combination of spoons along with a deadstick and live minnow and electronics are helpful with some bigger fish coming through suspended. On the Rainy River, traffic remains minimal due to varying ice depths, so it’s best to work through a resort. At the Northwest Angle, fishing remains excellent with a mix of walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, pike, and eelpout. Snowmobile trails from the south end to the Angle are being groomed and in good shape.

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

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

Walleyes are being taken during the evening hours with rattle spoons in 18 to 24 feet throughout Lake Minnetonka. The small bays on Minnetonka are producing panfish in 10 to 15 feet, while sucker minnows are turning northern pike in 18 to 24 feet at Medicine Lake. Crappies are being found tight to the bottom over 33 feet on Lake Independence and Lake Sarah is giving up a mixed bag of panfish in 14 to 18 feet. You’ll find 7 to 9 inches of ice on most area being fished.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

Walleyes are being caught best during the morning and late afternoon hours on the reefs in Big Bay or the flats out from McKinley Park in 20 to 22 feet. The reefs and breaks at the mouth of Pike Bay are giving up walleyes in 20 to 24 feet. Look to Stuntz Bay for northern pike – spearing has been better than angling in 10 to 12 feet. Trucks are being used on the road system out from McKinley Park, but you don’t want to travel far off them due to slush. Portable shelters and snowmobiles are the best way to move around more of the lake.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Resorts are working on their roads daily, but ice conditions are inconsistent. The lake has 11 to 16 inches of ice, but 20 to 24 inches of snow and slush. Early this week, wheel houses were not being allowed through resorts, although some do have rental houses out. Traveling on the lake has been best with track machines or snowmobiles. Continue to check with resorts on the changing lake conditions. Walleye and perch reports have been favorable for those getting out.

Lake Winnie Resort Association                   

LEECH LAKE

Slush continued to be a major issue throughout the lake early this week, basically, the lake is a mess. A string of cold days would do wonders for settling and freezing the slush and ultimately allow more anglers to get out. Heading into this weekend, you’ll want to continue working through resorts for road and travel options. Activity on the main lake has been minimal, but there has been a few anglers getting to the humps in Walker Bay and catching a few walleyes in 20 to 22 feet.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE     

Ice road access varies and you really need to check the ice if you are not on a marked road or trail. Anglers are getting out and catching walleyes during the morning hours on jigs with live bait in 25 to 30 feet. Some of the more popular areas have been in Black Bay and ice houses have popped up in Sand Bay as well. The green trail through Voyageurs National Park is staked and groomed and that provides good access for anglers with portable gear to some of the Black Bay crappie cribs close to the trail.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766

RED LAKE

Resorts continue to battle through deep snow and slush, but they are starting to move around a bit more. Roads are being opened and houses are getting out to select areas – not all over the lake early this week. Walleye action is still good, but not as consistent as it was a couple weeks ago, and you’ll want to work through a resort or outfitter for road options and for areas being fished.

Mort’s On Upper Red (218) 647-8128

JR’s Corner Access (320) 290-3838

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

Walleyes are being taken with small shiner minnows on White Bear Lake and the Bayport area of the St. Croix River in 20 to 25 feet. Look to Big Marine Lake and Big Carnelian Lake for suspended crappies over 22 to 25 feet. Northern pike and largemouth bass are hitting sucker minnows on Demontreville Lake and Olson Lake in 6 to 10 feet. ATVs are being used throughout the area.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

Foot travel or ATV use remains the best travel options on area lakes and you still need to check where you’re going with machines. There is a low-light crappie bite on Hydes Lake in 12 feet, Whaletail Lake in 8 to 10 feet, and Pierson Lake in 14 to 18 feet. Walleye action remains slow, but anglers utilizing tip-ups with sucker minnows are catching northern pike in 10 to 14 feet on Lake Minnewashta, Pierson, and Zumbra Lake.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

LAKE WACONIA

Look for sunfish during the day in 9 to 11 feet and crappies during low-light periods inn 12 to 14 feet in Waconia Bay, Wagener’s Bay, Pillsbury Reef and Center Reef. Northern pike also are being caught in these locations in 9 to 14 feet. A few walleyes are being taken after dark on setlines and shiner minnows on Pillsbury and Center in 13 to 18 feet. Snowmobiles and ATVs are being used.

Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Lake Miltona and Lake Le Homme Dieu are producing northern pike and a few walleyes early and late each day in 16 to 18 feet. Look for suspended crappies on Mary Lake over 16 feet or sunfish in 8 to 10 feet on Little Mary Lake, Lake Geneva, and Le Homme Dieu. The slush has diminished a bit, but you’ll still find pockets of it on most lakes.

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

ANNANDALE AREA

Little Maple Lake, Lake John, Lake Marie, Moose Lake, and Granite Lake are producing crappies over 15 to 40 feet and sunfish in 10 to 18 feet. Look for crappies and walleyes in 15 to 25 feet on Buffalo Lake, while Clearwater Lake and Sugar Lake are producing some walleyes in 16 to 24 feet. Northern pike action is strong along the weedlines on Francis Lake, Granite, and Maple Lake.  ATVs and snowmobiles are being used throughout the area.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE AREA

Anglers continue to encounter a lot of slush and varying ice depths so travel is still limited to walking, snowmobiles, or ATVs, but you better be wearing knee-high boots due to the water on the ice. There’s been some walleyes caught on West Battle Lake in 35 to 40 feet and some crappies over 25 to 28 feet. The north end of Otter Tail Lake is giving up walleyes in 18 to 22 feet, while the south end hasn’t seen much activity due to slush. Look to Ellingson Lake for sunfish and crappies in 10 feet or Clitherall Lake in 10 to 15 feet – anglers are walking on these lakes.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

Not much has changed since last week. It’s still very difficult to get on area lakes because of all the snow and slush. Foot travel is your best option and wearing snowshoes really helps to stay a bit more on top of the snow. There just hasn’t been many people out on area lakes fishing. 

Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172

BLACKDUCK AREA

Fishing reports have been minimal due to poor lake conditions locally. Most small lakes continue to be covered with deep snow and slush, making anything but walking out nearly impossible. Blackduck Lake does have a few plowed roads and some bluegills are being caught on the 18- to 22-foot mud along with an occasional walleye and some perch in 10 to 14 feet.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

Walleyes are being caught in 18 to 22 feet on the north and south ends of Gull Lake with spoons or setlines and rainbow minnows. North Long Lake is producing some walleyes in 25 to 28 feet, as is Round Lake in 16 to 26 feet. Northern pike are being taken with sucker minnows in 8 to 12 feet along the south end of Gull, the Merrfield end of North Long, and Lake Edwards. Hit 8 to 12 feet for sunfish or 18 to 20 feet for crappies on Nisswa Lake, North Long, and the south end of Gull. The lakes have started to firm up, but snowmobiles and ATVs continue to be the best travel options.

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

CASS LAKE AREA

Look for perch in 6 to 8 feet and walleyes in 20 to 25 feet on Pike Bay Lake. Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake is producing a few walleyes during the evening hours in 20 to 25 feet as well. Work the 10- to 12-foot weedlines on Grace Lake for bluegills and crappies. Snowmobiles are the best travel option due to deep snow and slush, but a few roads have started to be opened close to shore on some lakes.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831              

CHISAGO AREA   

You’ll still find pockets of slush on many lakes, but snowmobiles and ATVs are being used. The channel between Chisago Lake and South Lindstrom Lake is giving up panfish and northern pike in 6 to 12 feet. Work the 6- to 10-foot weeds on the south end of Chisago for crappies, sunfish, and northern pike, while a mixed bag of panfish is coming off North Lindstrom Lake in 6 to 12 feet. Some walleyes are being caught during low-light periods in the “Roadbed” area of South Lindstrom and at the channel on Little Green Lake in 8 to 16 feet.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

Lake conditions have improved some with ATVs and snowmobiles being used on many lakes now that some of the slush has started to freeze. Look to Serpent Lake, Nokay Lake, and Rabbit Lake for a few walleyes during the evening hours in 24 to 30 feet. Some crappies are being caught during low-light periods on Bay Lake in 17 feet or 30 to 35 feet and Crooked Lake in 25 to 32 feet. Northern pike reports have been good along the mid-depth weedlines on Serpent with tip-ups and sucker minnows. 

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

DETROIT LAKES AREA

The slush has started to freeze on many lakes, but snowmobiles remain the best travel option throughout the area. Look for sunfish in 10 to 15 feet and crappies over 15 to 20 feet on Little Detroit Lake, Lake Melissa, Little Floyd Lake, and Deadshot Bay. Walleye reports have been limited, but northern pike are being taken via angling and spearing in shallow water on most lakes.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA   

You’ll find an inch or two of frozen slop, and then slush below it before you’ll hit 8 inches or so of good ice – snowmobiles are being used on most lakes. Look to St. Louis Bay on the St. Louis River or Boulder Lake with jigs and chubs for walleyes in 8 to 10 feet. Crappies are being found suspended on Fish Lake and Caribou Lake in 15 feet during low-light periods.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST CENTRAL MN

Most lakes have 5 to 9 inches of ice so snowmobiles and ATVs are being used, but there is pockets of slush to watch out for. Hit Green Lake and Blue Lake for panfish in 14 feet or a few walleyes in 15 to 18 feet during the evening hours. Fremont Lake and Little Elk Lake are giving up northern pike in 7 to 10 feet on tip-ups and sucker minnows.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

ELY AREA

Walleyes are being taken with deadsticks and shiner minnows on Little Long Lake and Shagawa Lake in 20 to 28 feet during the evening hours. Crappies are being found suspended over 20 to 30 feet at Bass Lake, Armstrong Lake, and Bearhead Lake. Look to Black Stone Lake and Shagawa for northern pike on the rocks and reefs in less than 10 feet. Alruss Lake and Found Lake are giving up brook trout on spoons or small Rippin’ Raps along the shorelines in less than 15 feet. Lake trout are being taken over 40 to 60 feet with tubes or bucktails at Trout Lake, Basswood Lake, and Knife Lake. Slush has become a bigger issue over the past week on many lakes and most anglers are using snowmobiles to get around.

Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358

FAIRMONT AREA

There’s a low-light walleye and perch bite on Tuttle Lake in 4 to 6 feet and northern pike are being caught at Cedar Lake in less than 6 feet. Crappies and yellow bass continue to be pulled from 15 to 20 feet on Hall Lake, Budd Lake, and Sisseton Lake. Most reports indicate 10 inches of ice and ATV use.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

FARIBAULT AREA

Cedar Lake is giving up crappies and sunfish over 16 to 18 feet, while you’ll find suspended crappies over 30 feet or more on French Lake. Walleye reports have been minimal, but northern pike are being taken with sucker or shiner minnows on Cedar Lake along the 7- to 9-foot weed edges. Most lakes now have 8 to 10 inches of ice, although Cannon Lake has areas with thinner ice.

John’s Bait & Tackle (507) 332-6787

FERGUS FALLS AREA

Crappies and sunfish are hitting on Norway Lake in 12 feet, while walleyes and perch are being taken out from the access in 12 to 16 feet on Orwell Reservoir. Look for crappies on Long Lake in 12 to 15 feet or Jewett Lake in 28 to 30 feet. Anglers continue to encounter a lot of slush and remain limited to walking out or using snowmobiles on area lakes.

Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050

GRAND MARAIS AREA

Elbow Lake is producing walleyes and perch on chubs in 5 feet, while Crescent Lake is giving up walleyes in 8 to 12 feet on rainbow minnows. There’s been some lake trout reports off Daniels Lake, down 35 to 40 feet, with suckers and smelt working best. Anglers are dealing with a lot of slush on all area lakes.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA 

Fishing pressure has been extremely light due to the deep snow and slush on area lakes. The small lakes have been impacted the most with slush, but it has started to settle a bit. With cold weather expected this week, the hope is that the slush continues to freeze and more lakes become accessible by the weekend.

Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710

GREY EAGLE AREA

A few walleyes and crappies are coming off the north end of Big Birch Lake in 22 to 26 feet. Hunter’s Bay on Big Birch is producing sunfish, a few crappies, and northern pike in 12 to 15 feet and you’ll also catch a few walleyes off the point in Hunter’s Bay in 20 to 22 feet during low-light periods. The north end of Big Swan Lake is giving up a mixed bag of panfish over 20 to 25 feet. There are pockets of slush to watch out for, but ATVs and snowmobiles are being used on most lakes.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

HACKENSACK AREA 

Snowmobiles remain the best travel option on area lakes due to deep slush and snow – you really need to pay attention to where you’re going due to the slush. Little Birch Lake is producing bluegills and a few crappies in 15 to 20 feet, as is the north side of Pleasant Lake in 15 to 22 feet. Hit Baby Lake for walleyes during low-light periods on the 18- to 22-foot structure or weedlines. 

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

LAKE KABETOGAMA

Fishing remains consistent throughout Kabetogama. Even though the bite isn’t fast and furious, walleye fishing has been good. Larger fish are more active right now, while keeper-size walleyes seem to be a bit more elusive.  Lively minnows under a bobber or on a rattle wheel are producing better results than jigging on transition areas or soft bottom locations over 24 to 32 feet. Spearing success has slowed a bit, but this is mostly due to less people spending time in the spear house. Ice thickness still varies greatly throughout the area but safe to travel on with snowmobiles or track machines.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121

LANESBORO AREA 

The catch and release stream trout season is underway and area streams are good with very little shelf ice, so access is favorable. Orange-colored scuds and nymphs, size 14 Prince Nymphs or size 20 Midge Nymphs have been working best. Most streams are producing trout and those in the Whitewater State Park have been especially good for rainbow trout.

Root River Rod Company (507) 467-2101

LONGVILLE AREA

Lake conditions are improving a bit, but slush was still an issue on most lakes early this week. Walking out or machines with tracks are the best travel options. Girl Lake is kicking out bluegills and crappies in 16 to 18 feet. Hit Woman Lake during the evening hours for walleyes and a few perch in 16 to 20 feet. Crappies are being found suspended on Wabedo Lake over 36 to 40 feet and Lake Inguadona is giving up sunfish in 11 feet. 

The One Stop (218) 363-2252

MADISON LAKE AREA

Northern pike, crappies, sunfish, and bass are being caught around the 5- to 7-foot weeds in East Bay on Madison Lake. Madison also is giving up crappies on Church Bar during the evening hours over 20 to 25 feet and walleyes off Miller’s Point with shiner minnows or spoons in 18 to 20 feet. Hit Duck Lake in 15 to 20 feet out from the access for sunfish, crappies, and northern pike. On Lake Washington, walleyes are hitting between Grassy Island and Third Point in 25 feet, while Baker’s Bay is kicking out a mixed bag of panfish over 18 to 22 feet. Anglers are finding 11 to 13 inches of ice throughout the area.

Corner Bait (507) 243-4464

MORA AREA

Sunfish have started hitting on Knife Lake, Mud Lake, Fish Lake, and Ann Lake in 6 to 8 feet. Walleye action is slow, but tip-ups with shiner or sucker minnows are turning northern pike on Fish in less than 6 feet. Snowmobiles or ATVs are being used on area lakes.

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

ORTONVILLE AREA

Ice conditions on Big Stone Lake are good for walking, ATV, and snowmobile travel. Approximately one-third of the lake has areas with slush that are fairly easy to see. Most anglers are driving around these areas and doing fine. There are some beat down tracks to follow as well. Portable fish houses are a go, however pulling a hard side house could be a challenge depending on size of house and what you are pulling it with. The lake has an average of 4 to 8 inches of snow and most areas have 10 to 13 inches of ice with less in some spots. Perch reports have been good with anglers doing some sorting to put together a batch of nice fish and there has been some good-size bluegills in the mix. It seems 11 to 13 feet of water has been best at County Road 68, Meadowbrook, and Rocky Ledge areas.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

There’s still a lot of snow and slush on all lakes and ice depths really vary from lake to lake so you need to pay attention to where you’re going. Fourth and Sixth Crow Wing lakes are kicking out a mixed bag of panfish in their  deeper basin areas. A few walleyes are being caught during the evening hours on Potato Lake and Fish Hook Lake in 18 feet.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

PERHAM AREA

Fishing pressure continues to be very limited throughout the area due to varying ice depths and deep slush on the lakes. Conditions are so difficult that even walking out on most lakes is a chore, so an extended stretch of cold weather is needed to freeze the slop and get anglers interested in going out again.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

RED WING AREA

Water levels on the Mississippi River rose over the past week and that eliminated most of the ice on the Minnesota side of Lake Pepin. Anglers are still walking on the harbors and marinas for panfish or hitting the backwater areas for northern pike. Dragging plastics on the 12- to 14-foot current seams on the river has produced walleyes and sauger for people in boats.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

A few walleyes are being caught on Lake Koronis in 10 to 12 feet or 20 to 25 feet. Look to Eden Lake for sunfish in 10 to 12 feet and crappies over 18 to 25 feet. Channel catfish and crappies are being found suspended over the deep basin areas of Horseshoe Lake and Cedar Island Lake. Hit Becker Lake and Pearl Lake for sunfish and crappies in 12 to 15 feet. There are ATVs being used on some lakes, but most anglers continue to walk out and fish areas they can get to. There’s some slush.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975

SAUK CENTRE AREA

The north end of Lake Osakis continues to produce sunfish and some crappies in 20 to 23 feet – you will have to sort through some small fish and freshwater shrimp seem to be producing bigger panfish. Northern pike action also remains strong with shiner minnows along the weed edge on the north end of Osakis and some crappies are being found suspended over deep water in front of Holiday Resort during low-light periods. The east shore and northwest corner of Maple Lake are giving up sunfish in 12 feet, Fairy Lake is producing sunfish in 9 to 13 feet, and Lilly Lake is kicking out sunfish and crappies in 16 to 28 feet. You have to sort through some small fish, but the south end of Sauk Lake is producing some keeper walleyes in 20 feet. ATVs are good to go on area lakes and trucks have started being used on some.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

STARBUCK AREA

Trucks have started being used on many lakes with 13- to 15-inches of ice being found on area lakes. Some walleyes are coming off the Starbuck end of Lake Minnewaska during low-light periods or after dark in 16 to 18 feet. Sunfish and crappies are scattered throughout the Glenwood end of Minnewaska in 14 feet – try and get away from the crowds. 

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

There’s very little snow on the ice, so ATVs are being used on some lakes and small trucks are being used on others. Hit Lake Shetek for walleyes, perch, and crappies in 6 to 11 feet, Bloody Lake for perch and crappies in 8 to 12 feet, and Lake Sarah in 6 to 10 feet for perch and a few walleyes. Walleyes also are going in 6 to 9 feet on Dead Coon Lake or 10 to 14 feet on East Twin Lake. Perch action has been good in 4 to 12 feet at Island Lake and 6 to 8 feet on West Twin Lake. On Lake Lac qui Parle, crappies, walleyes, and some perch are hitting in 9 to 12 feet.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

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