Thursday, January 26th, 2023
Thursday, January 26th, 2023

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Minnesota’s fishing & hunting report — Jan. 10, 2023

Great Eight

LAKE MILLE LACS

East – Glow spoons or deadsticks with small suckers or shiner minnows are producing walleyes best during the evening hours on structure in less than 18 feet. There is some daytime walleye activity on the mud and gravel in 18 to 25 feet, but a lot of those fish have been short. Ice conditions are not great, with some resorts working to open roads and allowing some travel. Others are in a holding pattern, dealing with a lot of snow and slush, so track vehicles are your best option.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811 www.johnsonsportside.com

West – Ice showed little to no improvement this week. Guides reported finding numerous areas with 6 to 8 inches of ice and cracks hidden by the snow. There also were some areas that had significant slush. Ice is suitable for ATV or snowmobile travel on this end. With the full moon this week, walleye fishing was slower than it has been, but some fish are being caught on the mud flats in 22 to 25 feet. There have been more reports of decent perch catches from the mud flats as well.

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430 www.terrysboatharbor.com

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Most anglers are sorting through numbers of small fish to find keepers, with the occasional larger slot or trophy walleye being caught in 30 to 34 feet. Jig with a small- to medium-sized spoon tipped with a piece of minnow and use a deadstick with a fathead, rainbow, sucker, or live emerald shiner. There have been a number of nice-sized eelpout being caught as well. Ice conditions are good, with larger trucks and fish houses being allowed on many ice roads; just work through a resort. A mixed bag of walleyes and sauger are being caught on the Rainy River, with the morning and evening bites being best. Ice conditions vary on the river, so work through a resort or outfitter for safety. At the Northwest Angle, the ice road from Angle Inlet at Young’s Bay to the island resorts is open and ice fishing is in full gear. In addition to walleyes, which make up most of the catch, jumbo perch, sauger, eelpout, and some big pike are showing up as well.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA

There’s over a foot of snow on area lakes and slush underneath it so fishing activity has been limited. Snowmobiles or ATVs with tracks are really the only ways to get around, and even those transportation means have struggled with lake conditions throughout the area.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

Lake conditions remain tough; there isn’t much for roads plowed, and slush is an issue. Anglers with portables and snowmobiles or ATVs with tracks have started to venture out a bit more, but fishing pressure has been minimal. There’s been some activity and a few walleyes caught on the reefs around Birch Island, Cherry Island, out from McKinley Park, and the mouth of Pike Bay.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Spoons and deadsticks with shiners are turning walleyes, especially late in the day, over 15 to 20 feet. Some of the better reports are now coming off the main-lake bars such as Moses, Big Muskie, and Bena. Perch remain scattered, with some activity in 20 to 30 feet during the day or 15 to 18 feet early and late. There have been nice perch caught, although overall numbers have been down. You’ll do best by drilling a lot of holes and staying on the move. Road systems have been plowed, but check with resorts. ATVs, snowmobiles, and side by sides are also being used. Just avoid any drifts.

Lake Winnie Resort Association www.lakewinnie.net

LEECH LAKE

There have been some bigger perch caught off Pine Point, the north end of Walker Bay, and Agency Bay in 9 to 13 feet or 16 to 20 feet. Setlines and rainbow minnows are turning walleyes during low-light periods in 10 to 15 feet on main-lake structure or on the edges of humps in Walker Bay over 25 to 30 feet. Whitefish and eelpout have been more active on the main lake and in Walker Bay this week as well.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE

Walleyes are biting in 28 to 34 feet of water on deadsticks and fathead minnows. Northern pike are mixing in with the walleyes and are being caught on the same presentations. Larger pike are bring targeted with success on smaller suckers in 25 feet or more. Slush is starting to freeze up, and lake travel has got better.

RainyDaze Guide Service (218) 290-6102

RED LAKE

Walleye action has been slow for some and very good for others. Overall, most people are catching fish, but some areas have just been more productive. It seems like getting away from the crowds, finding new areas that haven’t been worked over, and are more quiet have been producing more and bigger walleyes. Some fish are hitting glow or gold spoons, but plain hooks with live minnows are working best in 13 feet or more, especially overnight.

West Wind Resort (218) 647-8998

JR’s Corner Access (320) 290-3838

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

Walleyes and sauger are being caught around structure by the power plant on the St. Croix River. Bald Eagle Lake is producing crappies over 25 feet or more, and Demontreville Lake is giving up pike on suckers along its 10- to 14-foot weedlines. A few walleyes are being caught during low-light periods in 20 to 25 feet on White Bear Lake. Most anglers have been walking out due to the deep snow and slush on local lakes. ATV and even snowmobile use has been a struggle on most lakes due to the conditions.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

Wasserman Lake continues to produce sunfish and crappies in 14 to 18 feet. Hit the “Little Minnie” portion of Lake Minnewashta for a mixed bag of panfish in 11 to 22 feet. Lotus Lake is producing crappies and a few walleyes during low-light periods in 20 to 25 feet. Lake conditions vary quite a bit from some limited truck use on a few lakes to a lot of slush on others where walking or snowmobiles are the only options.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

SOUTH METRO

Cedar Lake is giving up a few crappies in 10 to 12 feet, while Prior Lake is producing sunfish during the day and a few crappies at night in 18 to 20 feet. Look to Spring Lake for crappies and an occasional walleye during low-light periods in 15 to 17 feet. Deep snow and slush are limiting where people can get to. Snowmobiles or walking out are the only options on area lakes.

Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096

LAKE WACONIA

Sunfish are hitting during the day in Waconia Bay and Wagener’s Bay in 11 to 14 feet. Look for crappies in Wagener’s Bay and Waconia Bay in 15 to 17 feet and pike in 12 to 15 feet. There have been some walleyes caught on North Reef, in Waconia Bay, and north of Center Reef after dark in 13 to 18 feet. Some roads are plowed out of the public accesses, but travel is difficult off them. Early this week, ATVs were being used out of the marina, but they might have roads open to trucks in Waconia Bay this weekend.

Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096 www.intownemarina.com

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Crappies are being found suspended over 30 feet on Lake Le Homme Dieu and Lake Darling. Walleyes and crappies are being caught on Lake Mary over 22 to 25 feet. Lake Ida is giving up a few walleyes during low-light periods in 23 to 26 feet on shiner minnows and deadsticks. Lake Geneva, Le Homme Dieu, and Little Mary Lake are producing sunfish in 8 to 14 feet. Trucks are being used on lakes throughout the area.

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

BATTLE LAKE AREA

Shiner minnows on deadsticks are turning walleyes along the 15- to 20-foot weeds at Otter Tail Lake and the 20- to 25-foot weeds on West Battle Lake. Sunfish and crappies are being found suspended along the 15- to 20-foot weeds on Fish Lake, Silver Lake, and West Battle. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows around the 12- to 15-foot weedlines on West Battle, Otter Tail, and Donald Lake. Trucks and ATVs are being used throughout the area. You just have to watch out for drifts on most lakes.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

Most of the slush on Lake Bemidji has frozen, but there are still few plowed roads other than on the south end of the lake. Look to the early-morning and late-afternoon hours for some walleye action along the 12- to 18-foot shoreline breaks or bars. You’ll also find some fish on the deeper, main-lake humps. Perch go on and off during the day on Bemidji, while the weeds on Grace Lake and Gull Lake are kicking out panfish.

Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172

BLACKDUCK AREA

Bluegills and crappies are being caught on Blackduck Lake in 20 feet or Gilstead Lake and Pimushe Lake over 20 to 40 feet. Look for the crappies suspended and deeper. Island Lake is giving up a few perch in 10 to 20 feet, and Blackduck produces an occasional walleye in less than 15 feet. There are slush pockets to deal with on most lakes. Trucks are being used on some, as are ATVs and side by sides on others.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA

Rainbow minnows on deadsticks and spoons are turning walleyes in 18 to 25 feet at Gull Lake, Round Lake, and Pelican Lake. Look for crappies in 8 to 15 feet or 22 to 30 feet on North Long Lake, Nisswa Lake, Lake Edward, and Gull. Sucker minnows are producing pike in 16 to 24 feet on the south end of Gull, Edward, and North Long. Sunfish remain active in the 10- to 12-foot weeds throughout Nisswa, North Long, and White Sand Lake. Ice depths vary from 8 to 15 inches. There isn’t much for slush, but there are drifts to avoid. Some roads have started to be opened for vehicles, but ATVs and snowmobiles are being used as well.

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

CASS LAKE AREA

Walleyes are being caught in 18 to 20 feet during the day and 8 to 12 feet each evening on Cass Lake, Pike Bay Lake, and Lake Andrusia. Spearing and angling for pike on these lakes has been strong in less than 12 feet as well. Perch reports have been best off Pike Bay in 7 to 9 feet, while Grace Lake and Lower Sucker Lake are producing crappies. Some roads have started being plowed on local lakes, but if you get off the main path, drifts are an issue, so look for those and avoid them. Snowmobiles and ATVs with tracks are the best travel options.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831 sunsetcove-resort.com

CHISAGO AREA

Crappies and sunfish are being caught on South Lindstrom Lake and the south end of Chisago Lake in 6 to 12 feet. Panfish and northern pike are hitting in the Pancake Island area on South Center Lake and the narrows area on Little Green Lake. The channel between Chisago and South Lindstrom is worth hitting for panfish, pike, bass, and a few walleyes. Snowmobiles and ATVs are being used, but there are pockets of slush to watch for. Truck use is starting in a few spots, but was limited early this week.

Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334

CROSBY AREA

Crappie activity has picked up early and late each day on Bay Lake, Nokay Lake, and Little Rabbit Lake over 25 feet or more. Crappies can be had during the day on Upper Dean Lake in 14 to 20 feet and Milford Lake in 17 to 24 feet. A few walleyes are being caught during low-light periods on Rabbit Lake, Serpent Lake, and Nokay in 18 to 22 feet. Trucks are starting to be used on more lakes and ATVs seem to be getting around better as well.

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

DETROIT LAKES AREA

Walleye are being caught each evening on shiner minnows in 17 to 22 feet at Lake Sallie and Big Detroit Lake. Bluegill action has been slow, but a few crappies are hitting during low-light periods on Lake Melissa and Sallie in 16 to 18 feet or Little Detroit Lake over 12 to 15 feet. Trucks are being used on some lakes, as are ATVs and snowmobiles on others.

Quality Bait & Tackle (218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA

Suckers are turning northern pike on Rice Lake in 6 feet. Boulder Lake is giving up walleyes and some nice perch on spoons or deadsticks with shiner minnows in 10 feet. The Park Point area of Duluth Harbor continues to produce walleyes and a few crappies in 8 to 10 feet. Snowmobiles are the way to go on area lakes due to slush pockets and deep snow.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST CENTRAL MN

Anglers are finding a mixed bag of panfish in 12 to 14 feet on Green Lake and Eagle Lake. An occasional walleye comes off Briggs Lake in 7 to 14 feet, and suckers remain the ticket for pike on Little Elk Lake and Fremont Lake in 7 feet. Snowmobiles or walking out are the best options to move around area lakes. Deep snow and slush continue to limit where people can get to successfully.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

ELY AREA

Trout Lake and Knife Lake are producing lake trout over 40 to 60 feet on red and white tubes, airplane jigs, and dead sucker minnows on the bottom. Deadsticks with shiner or rainbow minnows are turning walleyes on Fall Lake, Shagawa Lake, and Birch Lake, mainly along 16- to 20-foot mud/sand transition areas. Hit Fall Lake, Birch, and Hoist Bay on Basswood Lake in less than 10 feet of water for pike. Look for suspended crappies on Bass Lake and Low Lake over 22 to 30 feet. Brook trout are being caught at Found Lake and Alrus Lake in 5 feet near downed trees on small spoons tipped with minnow heads or wax worms. Trucks, snowmobiles, and side by sides are being used on most lakes.

Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358

EMILY AREA

There isn’t much for plowed roads or truck use on area lakes, but ATVs and snowmobiles are getting around. You have to avoid drifts, which are hard to see – those areas do have slush. Fishing reports have been limited to a few panfish and pike off the area’s small lakes, while walleye action has been slow.

Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191

FAIRMONT AREA

Small spoons and tungsten jigs tipped with spikes are turning numbers of yellow bass on Hall Lake, Budd Lake, and Lake Sisseton in 10 to 15 feet. A few walleyes and pike are being caught on Cedar Lake in 4 to 6 feet. You’ll find some slush in spots on a couple of area lakes, but trucks are being used.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

GRAND RAPIDS/DEER RIVER AREA

Big Cutfoot Sioux Lake is producing bluegills and crappies over 25 feet.

There’s an evening walleye bite on the points throughout Big Cutfoot in 12 feet. Bowstring Lake is kicking out crappies over 25 feet and perch and walleyes in 12 to 15 feet. Look to Round Lake for perch in 12 feet. Spearing for northern pike has been good on many lakes, including Jessie and Big Bass. Road systems have started to develop on many lakes so trucks are being used. ATVs also are an option with limited slush and hard-packed snow allowing ATVs to drive over the top of it.

Fred’s Live Bait (218) 246-8710

GREY EAGLE AREA

Walleyes are going on Cedar Lake, Big Birch Lake, and Bass Lake around structure in 20 to 25 feet during low-light periods. Look to Kings Lake, Two Rivers Lake, and Big Birch for a mixed bag of panfish in 12 to 16 feet. A few crappies are coming off Big Swan Lake in 20 to 22 feet. Light trucks are being used on some lakes where roads or trails have been opened. Slush is not an issue, but ice depths do vary from lake to lake, and that’s limiting where people can drive.

Nancy’s Bait & Tackle (320) 285-2405

HACKENSACK AREA

Walleye reports have been limited to a fish or two each evening on deadsticks and shiner minnows at Woman Lake, Baby Lake, and Pine Mountain Lake in 20 to 22 feet. Crappies are being caught on Pleasant Lake, Birch Lake, and Stony Lake late in the day and after dark over 18 to 24 feet. Bluegills are going on Birch during midday hours in 15 feet. Snowmobiles and ATVs are being used, but trucks are starting to show up on several lakes with more roads and trails being opened.

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

HUTCHINSON AREA

Lake Marion continues to produce crappies in shallow water, and Ripley Lake is giving up crappies and a few walleyes in less than 10 feet. Look to Collinwood Lake for some evening walleye action with shiner minnows in 6 to 8 feet and Richardson Lake for crappies in less than 12 feet. Roads have been plowed on a few lakes, but it’s tough to get around if there haven’t been due to deep snow and slush.

The Outpost Inc. (320) 587-8177

LONGVILLE AREA

Crappies are being found suspended in Broadwater Bay on Woman Lake over 18 to 20 feet, Wabedo Lake in 30 feet or more, and Boy Lake over 25 to 30 feet. Some fish are now being found in the weeds on Boy as well. A few walleyes are going at night on Little Boy Lake and Woman in 15 to 20 feet. Look to Lake Inguadona in 8 to 10 feet, Big Sand Lake in 16 feet, Boy in 10 to 12 feet, and Girl Lake in 12 to 15 feet for bluegills. Trucks are being used on some lakes, but ATVs and snowmobiles are the best bet. If the accesses are plowed open, you should be able to get around with an ATV on area lakes.

The One Stop (218) 363-2252

MADISON LAKE AREA

Squirrel’s Nest Point on Lake Washington is producing crappies and sunfish in 16 to 18 feet. Baker’s Bay on Washington is worth hitting for crappies and walleyes in 14 to 16 feet early or late each day. Look to Duck Lake for panfish in 12 to 14 feet and pike in 8 to 10 feet. On Madison Lake, crappies are being found on Crow Bar in 10 to 15 feet and Church Bar in 15 to 20 feet. Carpenter’s Point on Lake Francis continues to kick out a mixed bag of panfish in 16 to 18 feet. Accesses are open and trucks are being used throughout area lakes.

Corner Bait (507) 243-4464 www.cornerbait.org

MORA AREA

Knife Lake started producing crappies and sunfish in 8 to 10 feet, while Lake Eleven continues to kick out sunfish in 7 to 10 feet. Hit Louis Lake for a mixed bag of panfish in 12 to 15 feet, and Ann Lake with sucker minnows for pike in 5 to 10 feet. Lake conditions are good, and trucks are being used on most lakes.

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

ORTONVILLE AREA

The basin areas of Big Stone Lake, in 11 to 13 feet, continue to produce bluegills, perch, and a few crappies. The Ben Heines access area up to Rocky Ledge remains consistent, and anglers doing best have been on the move, sorting through their perch and eventually hitting a pod of bigger ‘gills. Lake conditions are good for truck use in the areas being fished.

Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Look for active walleyes late in the day over 12 to 24 feet at Fish Hook Lake, Potato Lake, and Eleventh Crow Wing Lake. Crappies are being found suspended in 16 to 25 feet on the Crow Wing Chain, Boulder Lake, and Toad Lake. You’ll find bluegills on Toad, Island Lake (West), and the Crow Wing Chain in slightly shallower water. Truck use has been limited due to lagging ice depths on many lakes, but ATVs or snowmobiles are good to go.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

PERHAM AREA

Walleye activity has slowed a bit, but a few are being caught late in the day or overnight in 15 to 25 feet at Rush Lake, Big Pine Lake, and Little Pine Lake. Bluegills remain active in 12 to 16 feet on Star Lake, Rush, and Dead Lake, while crappies are being found suspended over 25 feet or more on Big Pine and Star. Trucks are being used on local lakes with little or no slush being found.

Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355

RED WING AREA

The Maiden Rock and Frontenac areas on Lake Pepin are producing sauger and a few walleyes in 13 to 20 feet. Hit Baypoint Park Bay for a few sunfish and crappies in 10 to 12 feet. With the nicer weather, there have been a few more anglers in boats on the Mississippi River, catching sauger along current seams with bright jigs and plastics.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

It’s been a slow week of fishing, mainly due to lake conditions. A few crappies are coming off Rice Lake and Cedar Island Lake in 20 to 25 feet during low-light periods. Travel is difficult on local lakes due to deep snow and slush. Trucks are being used on a few lakes with trails, but snowmobiles or ATVs with tracks are best anywhere a road hasn’t been established.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Sunfish are going on the north end of Lake Osakis in 18 to 21 feet, east and west ends of Maple Lake in 9 to 13 feet, north end of Fairy Lake in 12 to 23 feet, and Lily Lake in 25 feet. You’ll find crappies on the north end of Sauk over 30 to 40 feet and Latimer Lake in 12 feet. Sauk is giving up a few walleyes in 16 to 21 feet during low-light periods. Get away from the crowds. The mid-lake humps, 18 to 21 feet, on Osakis are also kicking out walleyes. Lake conditions are good; there’s no slush and manageable snow. Trucks are being used, and roads are plowed on many lakes.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155

SPICER/WILLMAR AREA

Crappies and walleyes are going on Long Lake in 15 to 17 feet and the north side of Eagle Lake. Foot Lake is producing crappies and some walleyes during low-light periods in 15 feet. Nest Lake is giving up crappies and a few walleyes in 14 to 17 feet late in the day. Trucks are being used throughout the area if roads are plowed. Otherwise, snowmobiles are a good way to get around.

Sunray’s Bait and Tackle (320) 214-0499

STAPLES/LITTLE FALLS AREA

Crappies remain active during low-light periods on Beauty Lake and Thoroughfare Bay on Lake Alexander in 12 feet. Anglers fishing on the ice below the Blanchard Dam on the Mississippi River are finding a few walleyes. Slush is not an issue, and trucks have started being used on many lakes.

Da Fishin’ Hole (320) 631-0056

STARBUCK AREA

Crappies and sunfish continue to be caught on the Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska in 10 to 15 feet. Shiner minnows continue to turn a few walleyes on the west end of Lake Emily in less than 6 feet, and Little Mary Lake is kicking out sunfish in about 12 feet. Trucks are being used on most lakes without any issues. Just avoid any drifts.

Last Cast Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Lady Slipper Lake is kicking out walleyes in 7 feet, and Lake Shetek is giving up a few walleyes and some crappies in 6 feet. Hit Lac qui Parle Lake for crappies or a few walleyes and pike in less than 10 feet. Anglers are dealing with quite a bit of snow and slush on local lakes, so it’s been difficult to get around without four-wheel drive or something with tracks.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

South Dakota

WEBSTER AREA

The 25- to 30-foot basin areas on Waubay Lake are producing perch and a few walleyes. The north end of Waubay is kicking out walleyes in slightly shallower water. Small walleyes are being caught throughout the day on Bitter Lake, but bigger fish are going each evening in 15 to 20 feet. Trucks are being used on local lakes, but avoid any drifts if you get off the main paths.

Sportsman’s Cove (605) 345-2468

North Dakota

DEVIL’S LAKE

East Devil’s Lake has been best for perch in 25 to 45 feet. You have to weed through some small fish and stay on the move. If you can find perch on the main-lake flats in 12 to 20 feet, they’ve been bigger, just not as many. These areas also are producing walleyes. Rattle spoons are working best for walleyes on structure – humps, points, and old shorelines – in 8 to 20 feet. Travel conditions are still tough. If you don’t have a tracked vehicle, you won’t get far.

Eye Hangers Guide Service (701) 230-7080

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