Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

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Minnesota Fishing Report – Feb. 11, 2020

Report from the Dock

The recent cool down has helped firm up a lot more slush throughout the lakes in northern Minnesota, which has resulted in more fishing activity. While you still can’t drive just anywhere with a truck, roads and trails are being busted open and anglers also have had more of an opportunity to travel off these main road areas than weeks past. If driving trucks still isn’t an option on a given lake or certain area, you should be able to now travel with a snowmobile or ATV, which also wasn’t an option until recently. So what’s up with the bite? Walleyes are sluggish in most locations, providing short windows of feeding activity during low-light periods of the day – typical for this time of year. The most successful walleye anglers also seem to be downsizing their baits, implementing jigging baits and tip-ups, and staying on the move. Panfish reports have been a bit off as well. Many anglers have been commenting that they’re seeing crappies and bluegills on their electronics, but that it’s been pretty tough getting them to bite consistently.

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS        

East – Walleye action has slowed some with better reports coming from the deep basin areas in 25 feet of water or more. The best option is to get away from the crowds, and anglers staying mobile and willing to move are catching more fish. Some jumbo perch are being caught from the deep mud areas as well.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

West – Walleye reports continue to vary and there’s no question that anglers getting away from the crowds or staying on the move are catching more fish. Work the mud flats or other deep structure in 25 feet or more during the day or the tops in 20 to 24 feet of water during low-light periods with jigging baits or deadsticks and sucker minnows. You’ll also catch some tullibees and jumbo perch from the deeper basin areas.

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

 

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Many resorts are now traveling 16 to 22 miles out, and most fishing reports have been good, with more big walleyes in the mix this week. Jig one line and don’t be afraid to use noise such as rattles or vibration to draw fish in. Have a deadstick with a live minnow in the second hole for neutral fish. The Rainy River is frozen with snowmobile traffic on marked trails and there has been some reports of good walleye fishing in the river. At the Northwest Angle,  walleye action has been best in 26 to 32 feet of water. Jigging spoons and Rippin’ Raps are working in one hole, as is a plain red hook with live minnow in the other.

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

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

Look to Lake Independence during the evening hours for walleyes and suspended crappies in 30 to 34 feet. The North Arm, Carson’s Bay, and Phelp’s Bay on Lake Minnetonka continue to produce a mixed bag of panfish in 16 to 18 feet. Sucker minnows continue to produce northern pike along the 8- to 12-foot weeds on Minnetonka and Medicine Lake is kicking out sunfish in 8 feet.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

 

LAKE VERMILION

Walleye action has slowed a bit and the anglers getting out on Big Bay are mainly using portable shelters – lake conditions continue to limit wheel house use. If walleyes are caught, most are coming off the reefs, especially Fish House Reef, in 20 to 30 feet. Perch and crappie reports remain limited across the lake.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

 

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Deep snow and slush continues to keep fishing pressure at a minimum, but some resorts are opening roads, which has allowed a few more anglers to get out in certain areas. These roads are not lakewide and not all are open to the public, so call a resort and see what they have open for this weekend. Public access spots remain limited options unless you have a snowmobile, and the main lake flats are kicking out the most perch and some walleyes in 15 to 22 feet. 

Lake Winnie Resort Association                    

 

LEECH LAKE

Walleye action continues to be best during low-light hours in 17 to 26 feet along Olson’s Reef, Rogers Point, and Big Rock Reef out of Trapper’s Landing, while anglers on snowmobiles found them on the Variety Reef and Pelican Island areas. The deeper shoreline breaks and 30- to 40-foot humps in Walker Bay are giving up some walleyes as well. Perch are being found across the lake in 6 to 10 feet – you will have to sort through some small fish, but you will find those larger fish if you stay on the move. Tullibee action has picked up on the south shore, near Roger’s Point and Big Rock Reef over 28 to 40 feet. The slush has started to freeze and anglers are moving around a bit better, but you’ll still encounter some pockets of slush.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250

 

RAINY LAKE     

The 25- to 30-foot structure in Black Bay continues to produce walleyes and some crappies early and late each day. It seems most anglers finding success are drawing fish in with a jigging presentation, but deadsticks and minnows are providing the most bites. Although some slush has froze since last week, travel conditions remain difficult, so portable shelters are the way to go.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766

 

RED LAKE

Walleye fishing has been good, but it seems to go in stretches right now – two days are good and two days are slow. There are now roads going north, past Center Bar, with fresh plowed spots for wheel houses. The best baits seem to be perch-colored spoons tipped with a minnow head or deadsticks with a gold hook and shiner minnow, if you can find shiners. The best action has been taking place during overnight hours.

Mort’s On Upper Red (218) 647-8128

JR’s Corner Access (320) 290-3838

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

Crappies are being caught during the evening hours in 15 to 18 feet on White Bear Lake and Big Marine Lake. Walleye reports are limited, but tip-ups and sucker minnows are turning pike in 10 to 14 feet at White Bear or 8 to 12 feet on Big Carnelian Lake and Demontreville Lake.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

 

WEST METRO

Crappie action continues to be best during the evening hours on Wasserman Lake in 12 to 20 feet or Rietz Lake in 14 to 22 feet. You’ll find sunfish on Rietz in 12 to 14 feet or 8 to 12 feet on Lake Minnewashta and Auburn Lake. Sucker minnows are triggering northern pike in 8 to 14 feet on Zumbra Lake and Auburn.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

 

LAKE WACONIA

Deeper water, 18 to 25 feet, remains best for crappies on Center Reef or in Wagener’s Bay and Waconia Bay. Some crappies and sunfish also can be had in 13 to 17 feet on Center Reef, Pillsbury Reef, and in Waconia Bay. If you get away from the crowds you might catch a walleye or two at night on the reefs in 18 to 25 feet with deadsticks and minnows, while Center Reef or Waconia Bay are worth hitting for pike in 12 to 15 feet.

Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Lake Geneva is giving up crappies in 18 to 20 feet, while Lake Homme Dieu is producing crappies and sunfish in 18 to 20 feet as well. Hit Reno Lake for crappies and a few walleyes in 15 to 18 feet. Maple Lake started giving up crappies over 15 to 20 feet and Lake Louise is kicking out crappies and sunfish in 15 to 18 feet. You’ll find suspended crappies over 30 feet and sunfish in 10 to 12 feet on Lake Darling. Work Lake Irene for sunfish in 8 to 11 feet during the morning and evening hours.

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

 

ANNANDALE AREA

Look for sunfish in 12 to 15 feet and crappies over 15 to 22 feet on Lake Sylvia, Rock Lake, Indian Lake, Limestone Lake, Pleasant Lake, Lake John, and Buffalo Lake. Northern pike can be had with sucker minnows along the 12- to 15-foot weeds of Clearwater Lake, Sugar Lake, and Pleasant. An occasional flurry of walleye activity can be expected during low-light periods in 18 to 25 feet on Big Swan, Sugar, and Clearwater.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

 

BATTLE LAKE AREA

You’ll find suspended sunfish and crappies over 25 to 30 feet on Ellingson Lake, Walker Lake, and Clitherall Lake. Walleyes are being caught early and late each day in 35 to 40 feet on West Battle Lake or 25 to 30 feet on Otter Tail Lake. Tullibees are being found suspended over 30 feet or more on Clitherall, while spearing has been more productive than angling for northern pike on most lakes.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

 

BEMIDJI AREA

With ice conditions continuing to improve, there’s been quite a bit more activity on area lakes. At Lake Bemidji, you can get off the plowed roads, but you need to be very careful as there are still pockets of slush. Walleyes are hitting jigging spoons and minnow heads off the sharp shoreline breaks or off the edges of the bars and humps during low-light periods of the day. The perch bite is good during the day, but you need to do some sorting. You’ll also find a decent perch bite on Lake Plantagenet in 112 to 18 feet and look to Gull Lake and Lake Andrusia for crappies and bluegills off the deeper weed edges. 

Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172

 

BLACKDUCK AREA

Perch are being caught on small jigging baits tipped with waxworms on Blackduck Lake from 9 to 21 feet. You’ll catch bluegills and crappies in 19 to 21 feet here as well. Crappies and bluegills also are being taken in 18 to 22 feet on Rabideau Lake, Gull Lake, and Pimushe Lake. The slush has firmed up quite a bit so trucks, ATVs, and snowmobiles are being used throughout the area, just watch for pockets of slush that remain.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636

 

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

Walleyes remain pretty active, hitting shiner minnows in 18 to 30 feet on North Long Lake, Gull Lake, and Pelican Lake. Sunfish are hitting in 8 to 12 feet at North Long, Nisswa Lake, and Lake Margaret, while crappies are biting around the 8- to 12-foot weeds or 20- to 30-foot basin areas of Gull, Round Lake, and North Long. Eelpout and tullibee reports have improved on Gull during the evening hours in 25 feet or more. Sucker minnows are producing pike in 10 to 14 feet on Lake Edwards and North Long.

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

 

CASS LAKE AREA

While some perch are still being found in less than 10 feet, most of the bigger fish are now coming out of 25 to 30 feet in Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake or Pike Bay Lake. The 20- to 30-foot bars on Pike Bay are kicking out a few walleyes during the evening hours as well. You’ll find a mixed bag of panfish in 8 to 12 feet on Midge Lake and Grace Lake and some suspended crappies over deeper water at Lower Sucker Lake.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831              

 

CHISAGO AREA   

Sunfish continue to be found in 6 to 12 feet, as are crappies in 14 to 18 feet on North Lindstrom Lake, North Center Lake, Chisago Lake, and South Center Lake. You’ll pick off a walleye or two each evening in 12 to 16 feet on Green Lake, Chisago, and North Center. Northern pike and bass are hitting sucker minnows in 8 to 12 feet on Chisago and South Center.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

 

CROSBY AREA

Rainbow trout are being caught along the shorelines during the morning hours and over deep water during the day on Manuel Pit and Huntington Pit. The same pattern is happening for rainbows and some brown trout on Section Six Pit with small spoons. Tungsten jigs and waxworms are producing brook trout, tight to shore in 6 to 15 feet, on  Mallen Pit. Deadsticks are producing walleyes at night on Serpent Lake in 17 to 20 feet or the gravel and rock in 20 feet or more. Hit West Rabbit Lake, Nokay Lake, and Bay Lake for crappies over 15 feet or more and June Lake in 10 to 15 feet and Big Mahnomen Lake in 14 to 20 feet for a mixed bag of panfish.

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

 

DETROIT LAKES AREA

Sunfish and crappies are hitting on Little Floyd Lake, Height of Land Lake, Lake Melissa, and Little Detroit Lake in 12 to 15 feet. Northern pike reports have been limited, but a few walleyes are coming off Lake Sallie and Big Detroit Lake during low-light periods in 18 to 22 feet with deadsticks and sucker minnows.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248

 

DULUTH AREA   

Crappies are hitting during low-light periods on Boulder Lake in 14 feet or the Hi-Banks area of Fish Lake in 15 feet. Deadsticks and shiner minnows are producing walleyes in the Duluth Harbor over 10 to 12 feet. Hit Rice Lake in 6 feet for crappies and northern pike. The slush has started to firm up allowing snowmobiles to be used on area lakes. 

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

 

EAST CENTRAL MN

Northern pike and walleye reports have been limited, but Lori Lake  and Louis Lake started producing sunfish in 14 to 17 feet. You’ll find crappies on Mitchell Lake in 14 to 17 feet or suspended on Green Lake over 17 feet. 

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

 

ELY AREA

Lake trout action is strong on Snowbank Lake and Burntside Lake with tinsel or tube jigs over 40 to 60 feet. Eelpout action has picked with glow jigs or frozen smelt lying on bottom, around or on, the 30- to 70-foot humps of Cedar Lake, Snowbank, and Burntside. High Lake, Tofte Lake, and Miner’s Lake are producing rainbow trout in 10 feet on small Rippin’ Raps or spoons tipped with waxworms. 

Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358

 

FAIRMONT AREA

Hall Lake, Budd Lake, and Sisseton Lake continue to produce crappies and yellow bass in 15 to 20 feet. Tuttle Lake is a safe bet for a few walleyes in less than 6 feet, while sucker minnows continue to trigger northern pike at Guckeen Lake in 12 to 15 feet.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

 

FERGUS FALLS AREA

Hit Jewett Lake early and late each day for walleyes and crappies in 25 to 35 feet. Waxworms or small spoons are producing tullibees, which are being found suspended over 30 feet or more on Jewett, Pebble Lake, and Lizzie Lake. Anglers are finding crappies and sunfish in 15 feet on Wall Lake during the morning hours.

Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050

 

GRAND MARAIS AREA

Waxworms are producing splake in 6 to 10 feet and rainbow trout in 15 to 18 feet on Mink Lake. Greenwood Lake continues to give up lake trout on sucker minnows over 35 to 40 feet and rainbow trout are hitting salted minnows or waxworms in 15 to 20 feet on Pine Lake. A few walleyes are being taken in 12 to 18 feet on Hungry Jack Lake and 8 to 12 feet at East Twin Lake.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

 

GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA 

Lake conditions have improved a bit and the slush is slowly starting to freeze enough on most lakes for anglers to walk out or use snowmobiles. There’s been an improved crappie bite on Bowstring Lake during low-light periods over 20 to 25 feet. Little Cutfoot Sioux Lake is producing a mixed bag of panfish in 12 feet, while Big Cutfoot Sioux is kicking out walleyes each evening in 16 feet on deadsticks and minnows.

Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710

 

GREY EAGLE AREA

Two Rivers Lake continues to produce crappies during the day in 20 to 25 feet and Pine Lake is kicking out crappies during the evening hours over 15 to 20 feet. Hit Pine or Big Birch Lake for northern pike in 10 to 14 feet, while Big Birch is producing some walleyes in 20 to 32 feet during low-light periods as well. Look to Little Birch Lake for walleyes in 18 to 25 feet and to Big Swan Lake for sunfish in 15 to 20 feet. 

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

 

HACKENSACK AREA 

You’ll find bluegills in 15 to 18 feet and crappies over 18 to 20 feet on Birch Lake or crappies on the north side of Stoney Lake in 16 to 20 feet. Look to Baby Lake for walleyes during low-light periods in 20 to 22 – deadsticks with small sucker minnows are producing more fish, but use a spoon to draw them in. 

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

 

LAKE KABETOGAMA

Fishing has been inconsistent at best with some walleyes and perch biting early and late each day. Recently, downsizing your lure and bait has been working best tight to the bottom in 20 feet or more. Anglers with cameras down are seeing plenty of fish come in, but it’s been tough getting them to bite. Tip ups with a sucker minnow has been producing bigger fish.

Gateway Store (218) 875-2121

 

LANESBORO AREA 

Fishing conditions are the same as last week, which means clear streams and rivers, a manageable flow, and very fishable waters for trout anglers. The streams in most state parks and Trout Run remained especially good this week for rainbow and brown trout. Midge Larvae, Prince Nymphs, and scud patterns have been productive.

Root River Rod Company (507) 467-2101

 

LONGVILLE AREA

Perch remain active on the 14- to 16-foot sand areas throughout Woman Lake. Girl Lake is kicking out sunfish in 12 to 14 feet and Little Boy Lake is producing some walleyes in 16 to 18 feet during the evening hours. Crappie action has slowed, but look to the 8- to 12-foot weeds on Big Boy Lake for a few fish, as well as some bluegills.

The One Stop (218) 363-2252

 

ORTONVILLE AREA

The Rocky Ledge and Kite Island areas on Big Stone Lake continue to produce numbers of perch in 11 to 13 feet. Some days are better than others and you will have to sort through some small fish in order to put together your keeping-size perch. A few quality bluegills continue to be mixed in and walleyes are being caught during low-light periods in less than 5 feet.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

 

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Walleye action has slowed, but a few fish continue to be caught during the evening hours on Long Lake, Fish Hook Lake, and Potato Lake in 18 to 22 feet. Crappies are suspended over 20 feet or more on Boulder Lake, Big Mantrap Lake, and Fish Hook. Look for bluegills in 12 to 14 feet on Fish Hook and Fifth Crow Wing Lake.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

 

PERHAM AREA

You’ll find suspended crappies over 30 to 40 feet on Big Pine Lake and 22 to 30 feet on Walker Lake and Star Lake. Walleyes are still tough to come by, but northern pike are an easy catch with sucker minnows on most lakes in 12 to 15 feet. Look to Rush Lake and Star for bluegills in 12 to 14 feet.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

 

RED WING AREA

Tip-ups with sucker minnows or frozen smelt are producing northern pike in the marinas and backwater areas off Lake Pepin and the Mississippi River. Anglers in boats are catching walleyes and sauger on the river with a jig and minnow or by dragging jigs and plastics. Work the current seams in 20 to 24 feet during the day or less than 12 feet at night.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

 

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

Hit Becker Lake in 10 to 15 feet or Eden Lake in 15 to 20 feet for sunfish and crappies. Pearl Lake started giving up crappies in 14 feet during the evening hours, as is Clear Lake over 20 to 24 feet. Walleye action has been limited over the past week, but channel catfish are being found over the deep basin areas of Horseshoe Lake and Cedar Island Lake.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975

 

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Crappies are being taken during low-light periods over 20 feet on Maple Lake and the northwest corner of the lake is producing sunfish during the day in 10 to 12 feet. Fairy Lake is kicking out sunfish in 10 to 12 feet and Lake Osakis continues to produce sunfish and crappies in 20 to 22 feet. Look to Sauk Lake for walleyes in 20 to 38 feet during the evening hours, while northern pike are being taken with sucker or shiner minnows on Lilly Lake, Fairy, Long Bridge Lake, and Sauk in 8 to 12 feet. 

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

 

STARBUCK AREA

The Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska is producing sunfish during the day and crappies each evening from the Fish Hatchery to Lakeside Ballroom in 14 feet. Some walleyes are hitting at night on the Priest Point area of Minnewaska from 14 to 22 feet – deadsticks and shiner minnows are working best. Look to Lake Pomme De Terre for crappies during the evening hours. 

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239

 

WILLMAR AREA

Hit Norway Lake and Nest Lake in 10 to 15 feet for sunfish during the day or crappies and a few walleyes at night in 18 to 30 feet. Green Lake and Eagle Lake are giving up a few walleyes and crappies in 25 to 30 feet, while Diamond Lake is producing a few crappies and sunfish in 15 to 18 feet. Overall, anglers are seeing more fish on their electronics than they’ve been catching since the cold weather returned and freshwater shrimp seem to be producing more panfish than other baits.

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

 

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Walleyes, perch, and crappies are being caught on Lake Shetek in 8 to 12 feet. A few crappies are coming off Bloody Lake in 12 to 14 feet, while some walleyes are being taken on East Twin Lake in 12 to 14 feet or 7 to 9 feet on Wood Lake and Dead Coon Lake. Stay on the move throughout Lake Benton and you’ll find some perch and walleyes in 6 to 10 feet. 

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

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