LAKE MILLE LACS
The majority of bays are ice-covered and there is some shoreline ice developing. With that stated, most of the main lake was open as of Tuesday morning – putting a boat was probably still an option in some locations.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Most bays and harbors locked up with ice this past week, which has put a halt to the open water fishing. At last report, there are good numbers of walleyes and sauger staged in traditional early ice locations across Pine Island and the entire south shore. With fish location, numbers, and fall success, the lake appears primed for good early ice fishing. The Rainy River is still loaded with walleyes, but single digit temperatures locked up any water that wasn’t moving so it’s pretty much done. At the Northwest Angle, ice has formed in back bays, harbors, on the Angle Inlet, from Young’s Bay to Flag Island and across most of Flag Island flats. Larger stretches of water or current areas are still open.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Many small lakes and bays have a skim of ice, but you could still put a boat on the area’s big lakes early this week. With a couple days of warmer weather expected mid-week, open water fishing should still be an option this weekend.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
The small, shallow bays are covered with ice, but there isn’t any ice on the main lake. Anglers were still fishing out of McKinley Park from boats early this week and muskie action continues to be very good.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
There might be some open water on the main portion of the lake, but as of Tuesday morning, there was ice cover as far as the eye could see. Resorts were going to be checking ice conditions throughout the week, so expect a more thorough ice report soon.
The main lake was mostly covered with skim ice on Monday morning, but pockets of open water remained as well. Walker Bay was wide open and a few muskie anglers were still putting boats in at the City Park Landing. Most small lakes in the area are now covered with ice, but walking out is not yet advised.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
Ice has started to form in the bays and along shoreline areas. Most of the main lake or any portion of it exposed to the wind remained wide open early this week.
International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766
The shoreline ice appears to be locked in and much of the lake had 2 to 3 inches of ice early this week. Winds were creating some open or skim ice areas farther out, but foot traffic may be an option soon. Be sure to check with a resort or access point for current conditions.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128
JR’s Corner Access (320) 290-3838
Twin Cities Metro
Ice was just starting to take hold along the shorelines, in some bays, and on a few small lakes early this week. With that stated, you could probably still get a boat on most large lakes this week.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
Some small lakes and bays capped with a skim of ice Monday night, some lakes are partially covered, and the big lakes are still wide open. It’s going to take another string of cold days and nights for walkable ice to develop.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
With the exception of some shoreline ice, the bigger lakes all had a lot of open water early this week. The small lakes and bays are in better shape with as much as 3 inches of ice reported from some areas and some limited ice fishing has started.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
The ponds and some bays had a thin layer of ice early this week, but the main portions of all lakes were still open. With the exception of some shoreline ice, the wind has kept most big lakes ice-free as well.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
There’s still open water on the big lakes, but shoreline ice is preventing any open water fishing opportunities. Most small lakes and bays are ice-covered and finding ice thick enough to walk on by this weekend will depend on the weather leading up to it.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
The small, shallow lakes have all locked up and the bigger lakes like Bemidji and Plantagenet likely aren’t far behind. There will more than likely be some folks walking out by this weekend, but use extreme caution when venturing out.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172
Every lake in the area is ice-covered and with temperatures dipping below zero early this week, it’s likely some small bodies of water will have walkable ice by this weekend.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
The wind has prevented the big lakes and main bodies of most lakes from capping with ice. There is some ice in a few bays and a handful of anglers have been fishing on a few of them, but ice depths vary so check it as you go.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake capped with ice Monday night, the main lake still has pockets of open water, and most small lakes and bays have been ice-covered for about one week. There’s a chance some anglers will find enough ice to walk on by this weekend on some small areas that froze first.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Ice has taken hold in some bays, small lakes, and channel areas. It’s skim ice so walking out probably won’t be an option yet. The main portions of many lakes and most big bodies of water were wide open early this week.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
The sloughs and ponds have been ice capped for about a week, while a few of the small, shallow lakes have a thin layer of ice. There’s some shoreline ice on medium to large-sized lakes, but most were wide open Tuesday.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Anglers are reporting 3 to 4 inches of ice on many small lakes and bays so there could be some ice fishing options by this weekend. Even the big lakes are mostly ice-covered, but they just capped early this week.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
EAST CENTRAL MN
The lakes all capped with ice last weekend, but there isn’t enough of it to warrant walking out. The weather throughout this week, which was expected to warm up for a couple days, will dictate if ice thick enough to walk on takes hold.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985
The ponds and small lakes were all capped with ice as of Tuesday morning, but pockets of open water remained on the bigger lakes. A few people have checked ice depths on some small lakes and found nothing more than 2 inches close to shore early this week.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
Most big lakes were still open early this week, while the majority of small bodies of water had skim ice. With a few days of warm weather expected this week, ice thick enough to walk on won’t be an option this weekend.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
With the exception of a few pockets of water on the large lakes, everything was covered with ice early this week. There hasn’t been anyone fishing through it, but anglers have been checking ice depths on several lakes.
Nagel’s Live Bait (507) 334-8341
FERGUS FALLS AREA
As of Tuesday morning, all lakes in this area were covered with ice. Some bays and small, shallow lakes already have 3 to 4 inches of ice on them. On those, anglers have started walking out and begun to fish.
Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Many of the small, tucked-back-in-the-woods type lakes covered with ice last weekend. Depending on the weather, walkable ice should be an option soon. The big lakes still had quite a bit of open water early this week.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
Ice has taken hold on some small lakes and bays, while open water was still evident on most large lakes. Some of these spots that froze earliest could offer walkable ice soon, but it depends on the weather this week.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
As of Tuesday morning, all lakes in the area were covered with ice. Some froze more than a week ago, while others just capped Monday night. Finding ice thick enough to walk on will depend on weather conditions this week.
Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168
The big lakes still have open water, but some small lakes have been ice-covered for more than a week. There could be some ice thick enough to walk on by this weekend, but extreme caution is advised.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
MADISON LAKE AREA
Some small lakes and bays had as much as three inches of ice early this week, so with continued cold weather, there might be some foot traffic on them soon. The big lakes or anything exposed to the wind are still wide open.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
A few small lakes and bays are covered with a thin layer of ice, but the wind has been keeping most bigger bodies of water from freezing. There wasn’t enough ice to walk on anywhere in this area as of Tuesday morning.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
Big Stone Lake was partially ice-capped, but the wind and warm weather expected this week likely won’t improve ice conditions. Some sloughs have been ice-covered longer and currently provide better conditions, but fishing reports have been non-existent.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Some small lakes and bays capped with ice last weekend, but as of Tuesday, there wasn’t enough ice anywhere to walk on. The weather will dictate if that’s an option on a few small bodies of water heading into this weekend. With the exception of some shoreline ice, the big, deep lakes were still open early this week.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
The small bays and lakes have a couple inches of ice in spots, but there wasn’t enough to walk on early this week. Whether or not that’s an option this weekend will depend on the weather leading up to it and most big lakes still had open water.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
The cold weather has limited fishing pressure on the Mississippi River over the past week, but the few going continue to catch walleyes and sauger from Red Wing to the dam in 2 to 10 feet. Ice has formed in the marinas, bays, and back channel areas.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Several small lakes capped with ice last weekend, others are partially ice-covered, but most still have open water. You could still put a boat in on the area’s larger lakes if not for some shoreline ice.
Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975
SAUK CENTRE AREA
There was still open water on most big lakes early this week, but the majority of small lakes are completely capped. There could be some ice thick enough on the small lakes to walk on by this weekend, but be sure to use extreme caution if you go.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
The bays and some small lakes capped with ice last weekend and anglers have begun walking out and checking ice depths on those. The big lakes still have pockets of water, but a majority of them capped with ice on Monday night as well.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
Some of the shallow prairie lakes have been ice-covered for about one week and anglers have been walking out and checking ice conditions on them. Most medium-size lakes are partially ice-covered, while the bigger lakes such Green, were wide open as of Tuesday morning.
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097
The lakes were just starting to lock up early this week, but the warm weather forecasted this week likely won’t improve lake conditions. Some of the more wind-swept lakes still had pockets of water as well.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880