Monday, January 30th, 2023
Monday, January 30th, 2023

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Minnesota Fishing Report – April 21, 2020

Report from the Dock

With unseasonably cool weather over the past week, ice conditions hadn’t changed much in the last seven days. But Monday’s strong wind really seemed to take its toll on the ice in many areas, even across the northern part of the state. While there’s still plenty of main lake ice on the bigger lakes north of Brainerd, the wind shoved it around and the next stretch of warm days should take care of the majority of ice that’s left on any of the small lakes. It’s likely the bigger lakes will quickly follow suit with the shorelines and current areas now open far enough to deteriorate the ice with any wind movement. The cool weather also slowed panfish action in those areas where it had started, and that combined with the wind kept many anglers off the lakes. Nicer weather was expected to arrive mid-week and that should get boat and shoreline anglers back at it. Look for crappies and sunfish to be staged just outside those traditional spring locations, but expect them to start making a big push to the shallows as water temperatures begin to warm.

Great Eight


Any main lake ice that remains is now being pushed around by the wind. Monday’s strong winds pushed the ice up on parts of the east shore and into some buildings. On Tuesday morning, there was open water as far as the eye could see on the west end due to strong winds pushing it across the lake.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430



On the south end, the majority of Big Traverse Bay is still ice-covered, which is typical for this time of year. With warm weather in the forecast, ice will continue to deteriorate. The Rainy River   is open through Four Mile Bay, through the Lighthouse Gap, and into the lake.  There’s been very few boats (locals) fishing sturgeon at this time. At the Northwest Angle, open water has developed in current areas between islands, while the larger basins remain ice-covered.

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


When the weather warms, crappies are being caught in the small, mud-bottom bays of Lake Minntonka in 4 to 8 feet. The bite was slow early this week, likely due to the water cooling down again, but it should be strong this weekend with warm weather expected. Anglers fishing from shore in the park on Medicine Lake have started catching a few sunfish as well.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227



Pike Bay has started to open and it looks as though it should be ice-free within the next week. Big Bay ice is deteriorating as well and it usually opens shortly after the smaller bays do, so there should be no concerns with ice within the next week to 10 days if it gets warm.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430



Monday’s wind piled the ice up on the southwest side of the lake. There are stretches of open water and the ice that remains is black, moving, and should go out quickly with the next stretch of warm weather, wind, or rain.

Lake Winnie Resort Association               



The ice appears to be going out fast. Walker Bay and main lake ice is black and starting to shift, while the shorelines are now open enough to allow the wind to continue chewing away at it. As of Tuesday morning, Pumphouse Bay was wide open and most other bays should be open soon. Given conditions early this week, it’s likely the entire lake will be ice-free within the next week.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250



The Rainy River is open, as are the shorelines, current areas, and some small areas close to shore on the main lake. Main lake ice remained quite evident this week, although it is expected to warm up and that should speed up the ice-out process.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766



The shorelines and current areas have started to open a bit. Main lake ice is still abundant and the cool weather this past week hasn’t had much of a negative impact on it. An extended stretch of warm weather is expected to move ice-out quickly along.

Mort’s On Upper Red (218) 647-8128

Twin Cities Metro


Crappie action has been slow, but that’s mainly due to the cold and windy conditions of late. With a few days of warm, bright conditions that allow water temperatures to climb, look to the bays and shallow areas of Forest Lake, Big Carnelian Lake, and Big Marine Lake to start kicking out crappies again.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421



On the bright, calm days, crappies are being caught in about 10 to 12 feet on Lake Wasserman, Lake Parley, and Lake Waconia. As water temepratures start to warm, look for these fish to move into the shallow bays and shoreline areas.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022



The bays and rock shorelines on Cedar Lake and Prior Lake are giving up a few crappies, but not big numbers of fish at this point. Look for this shallow water bite to improve as water temperatures continue to climb.

Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096



With the exception of some limited ice floating around the big lakes, everything is wide open. Anglers have just started looking for crappies in shallow water, but reports have been limited. Windy, cool conditions have prevented water temperatures from improving much over the past week.

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



A few crappies are being caught in the shallow bays or harbors on Sugar Lake, Clearwater Lake, and Lake Sylvia. Weather conditions have been cool and windy, so this shallow water action should keep improving as the water warms. Turkey reports have been mixed, birds are being shot, but many hunters are stating that they haven’t been real receptive to calling.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297



With the exception of some floating patches of ice on a couple of big lakes, the ice is gone throughout the area. There weren’t any crappie reports as of Tuesday morning, although water temperatures are still cold. Hit those traditional spring spots as weather conditions improve and the shallow water starts to warm.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596



Ice conditions are slowly deteriorating, although there was still quite a bit of ice early this week. It’s turning black and the shorelines are open so it’s likely the small lakes will be ice-free with the next week to 10 days and the larger lakes shouldn’t be far behind.

Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172



With the cooler weather this week, ice conditions haven’t deteriorated as quickly as expected. Most shorelines are starting to pull away, but main lake ice is hanging on. It is expected to go quickly with a stretch of warm weather or significant rain.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636



Although there might be some patches of ice floating around the bigger lakes, Monday’s wind eliminated most of what was left. The area’s small lakes were open last week, so with a few days of warm, bright weather those shallow bays, harbors, and shorelines could quickly start to hold crappies.

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



Main lake ice conditions haven’t changed much since last week due to the cold weather, but it is looking rotten. The shorelines and current areas are open and continue to extend farther into the lake so those areas should help chew away at the main lake ice as well.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831              



The cool water temperatures have kept the few crappies being caught this week in that 10- to 16-foot range. With warm weather expected this week, start at these depths, but look to the channels between lakes or the shallow bays as water temperatures start to rise.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334



Crappie reports continue to be limited, but anglers are just starting to get out. The few fish caught were still being found somewhat deep as water temperatures remain cool. Expect a push of panfish into the shallows as weather conditions improve this week. Overall, turkey hunting success has been good and most people seem to be seeing plenty of birds.

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



Ice conditions continue to deteriorate, despite the cooler weather this past week. Monday’s wind seemed to really pound away at the ice that remained on area lakes and the next stretch of warm days should quickly eliminate much of the ice that’s left. Once water temperatures begin to climb, look for crappies to show up in the shallow, mud-bottom bays or channel areas.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248



Ice-out is kind of at a standstill due to cool temperatures over the past week, although what’s left is rotten and could quickly be eliminated with a stretch of warm days, wind or some rain. Strong winds also made it tough to get on Lake Superior since last week.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094



Some crappies were being caught in 7 to 10 feet, although poor weather conditions over the past week have slowed the bite and prevented anglers from getting out. Look to lakes such as Blue, Little Elk, and Green to start giving up panfish in shallower water as soon as air temperatures warm for several consecutive days.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985



There was some limited ice fishing on a few lakes last weekend, but the shorelines have now pulled far enough away to put an end to that. It’s been cold enough in this area to keep main lake ice intact, although anything with current is starting to open.

Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358



Minnows are producing some crappies during the evening hours along the shorelines of George Lake, Budd Lake, and Sisseton Lake. Look for more of an all day bite as water temperatures continue to rise. Anglers fishing from shore at Tuttle Lake (border water) are catching walleyes on jigs and plastics.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225



There was still ice on some of the bigger lakes early this week, but it appeared to be going out fast. The small lakes are wide open and some panfish action has started. Crappies and sunfish are being caught in 6 to 10 feet at Middle Lake, North Turtle Lake, and Norway Lake, but look for these fish to push shallower as soon as water temperatures jump a few more degrees.

Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050



The shorelines have started to pull away slightly on some lakes, but it’s been cold enough over the past week for main lake ice to remain intact and pretty solid. It’s going to take an extended stretch of warm weather or rain to start deteriorating the ice enough for it to start going out.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280



Several small lakes opened completely up with Monday’s strong winds. Any ice that does remain on area lakes is black and likely to go out very soon. Even the big lakes are expected to be ice-free within the next week if weather conditions continue to warm up.

Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710



There still hasn’t been a big push of panfish into the shallow bays or shoreline areas of local lakes. The ice has been gone for more than a week throughout the area, but poor weather conditions have prevented anglers from getting out and water temperatures remained too cool to move crappies into the shallows of area lakes.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405



Many small lakes are now ice-free or very close to it. Even the big lakes took a hit with the strong winds early this week. Any ice that remained was looking black, rotten, and floating so there’s a good chance most of the area could be ice-free by this weekend. 

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



Steve 612-940-0599

Root River Rod Company (507) 467-2101



Will’s cell 218-232-0484

The One Stop (218) 363-2252



East Bay or the Buckmaster’s Bridge area on Madision Lake are producing some crappies in 6 to 10 feet. You’ll also find crappies around Grassy Island and a mixed bag of panfish in the northwest corner of Baker’s Bay on Lake Washington. 

Corner Bait (507) 243-4464



A few crappie are being taken by shore anglers at Knife Lake and the Ann River with small jigs and minnows.Anglers in boats are finding crappies in 7 to 9 feet on Lake Pokegama – look for them to move shallower as water temperatures continue to climb. By most accounts, the first turkey season has gone well with a lot of people hunting and good success throughout the area.

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



A jig and minnow has started producing smaller, male walleyes along the shorelines of Big Stone Lake. The north half of the lake from Hartford Beach farther up has been best and the bite should only continue to improve as water temperatures climb. The docks are now in at the accesses and look for some good walleye action in shallow water over the next couple of weeks.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480



There was still some ice floating around the big lakes early this week, but just about everything opened with Monday’s strong winds. There hasn’t been much crappie fishing activity at this point, but start hitting those shallow, traditional spring spots as water tempartures warm.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099



The small lakes are ice-free, as are many of the area’s larger bodies of water. Any ice that did remain early this week was expected to be gone by this weekend. There hasn’t been much for open water fishing reports, but it has been too cold and windy for most people to get out at this point.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355



Water levels are going down and accesses along the Mississippi River are open. Reports early this week indicate that walleyes are done spawning and saugers were finishing up. The fish appear to be moving with improved reports at the Head of the Lakes area on Lake Pepin, but current seams on the river are kicking out fish as well. Anglers were using a wide range of presentations this week including live-bait rigs, jigs, and leadcore with crankbaits.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334



Fishing reports have been light, but weather conditions have been cool and windy so there hasn’t been many people getting out. With a few days of warmer weather, the local crappie bite should quickly kick in along the shorelines, harbors, and shallow bays.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975



There hasn’t been much to report on the fishing front, mainly due to the cold and windy weather that’s persisted over the past week. A few days of warm, bright weather are needed before crappies and sunfish start showing up in their traditional, shallow water spring spots.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155



A few sunfish are being caught in the Starbuck Marina, while some crappies are coming out of Fish Hatchery Bay in 8 to 10 feet on Lake Minnewaska – you need a boat in this bay. The poor weather and cool water has kept many anglers from getting out and the majority of panfish from moving shallow.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239



The ice has been off for more than a week, but water temperatures cooled back down since last week. Even so, some crappies and sunfish continue to be caught along the highway in the bay on Nest Lake, along shoreline of Elkhorn Lake, and in the fairgrounds area on Foot Lake.

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



Crappies and perch are being found close to the shorelines on Lake Shetek, Bloody Lake, and Fox Lake. You’ll also find perch in shallow water on Cottonwood Lake, Island Lake, or East and West Twin lakes. Turkey hunters are shooting some birds and many hunters are reporting that they’ve never encountered so many people in the woods.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

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