LAKE MILLE LACS
While ice continues to cover the entire lake it is starting to show signs of a spring thaw. There were a few anglers walking out in some of the bays early this week, but with the shorelines and flowage areas opening, ice fishing is likely done for the season.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
With the walleye season now closed, pike and sturgeon have become popular options. Pike are staging for the spawn. The back bays are opening up and will be full of pike soon. On the Rainy River, the Big Fork and Little Fork rivers busted open last week, sending ice and muddy waters into the Rainy River. Sturgeon fishing remains good for the catch and release season through April 23. At the Northwest Angle, a few anglers were on the ice this week, but ice fishing is over with some open water appearing in current areas.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
The small lakes and bays are ice-free, but the main portions of the big lakes such as Minnetonka still had floating ice this week – it could be gone by the weekend. Fishing reports have been limited to a few crappies from the channels and bays.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
Not much to report between seasons here other than the shorelines and moving water areas have opened even more since last week. There’s still plenty of main lake ice, but it is showing signs of deterioration.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
The shorelines and moving water areas are open and starting to extend into the lake. The entire main lake is ice-covered, although it looks as if it has started to deteriorate.
Ice fishing options were limited early this week and most shorelines will likely be open far enough to prevent people from getting on the lake by this weekend. Those that went out also reported soft main lake ice conditions.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
With the walleye season now closed, fishing activity has dropped on the Rainy River, although sturgeon anglers have continued catching fish. The main lake ice is getting soft and some shoreline areas have busted loose.
International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766
There’s nothing to report as far as fishing and the main lake still has quite a bit of ice. Some shorelines have pulled away and any moving water areas are open and have started to extend into the lake.
Mort’s On Upper Red (218) 647-8128
Twin Cities Metro
There was still ice on the big lakes early this week, but the small- to medium-size lakes are open. A few anglers have just started fishing from shore and reports have been limited.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
With the exception of some limited ice on the big lakes, the area is ice-free. There hasn’t been many people fishing at this point, although crappies should start moving into those shallow spring spots as soon as water temperatures climb a bit.
Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022
The ice is gone and people have just started fishing open water. Success was limited early this week, but look to those traditional, spring crappie spots to start holding fish soon.
Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096
The ice went completely out last Saturday. The marina will remain closed until early May, and docks are being installed. The marina access will remain closed during this time as well. It won’t be long before the fishing commences
Mases In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096
This area is officially between seasons now that the shorelines have opened and main lake ice is getting soft. Some lakes have bigger spots of open water than others, but the ice is expected to go quickly, especially on the small lakes.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
The ice that remains is soft and melting away pretty fast. There’s already quite a bit of open water on some lakes and any moving water areas have now extended quite a ways into the lakes. Most bays, channels and harbors are opening as well.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
The ice fishing season has come to an end with the shorelines now open far enough to prevent anglers from getting on it. The ice that remains is soft and looking like it could go out quickly.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
The ice fishing season is done here. You could still get out on some lakes early this week, but the ice is getting soft and no longer safe. This week’s weather will have a major impact on the ice that remains so open water fishing might not be far off.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172
Anglers were getting on most lakes early this week, but the shorelines are getting worse on a daily basis so ice fishing likely won’t be an option this weekend. There’s plenty of main lake ice, but getting to it has become difficult.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
The shorelines have pulled away enough to prevent people from getting on any lake. Several small lakes are partially ice-free, while the channels and moving water areas are already open.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
The river channels, inlets, and outlets are open and starting to move into the bays and main lake areas. Shorelines have become sloppy and main lake ice is soft and deteriorating fast; the ice fishing season is over.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
Many of the small lakes are now ice-free, as are most channels and bays. Although some ice remains on the bigger lakes it was going out quickly. Anglers just started fishing the traditional, spring crappie spots throughout the area.
Frankie’s Bait (651) 257-6334
There are stretches of open water along the shorelines of most lakes, although main lake ice was persisting early this week. Some small bays or areas with moving water have opened.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Any ice fishing options that remained last weekend have come to an end. This week’s weather took its toll on the ice, opening shorelines and softening main lake areas. From the appearance of most lakes early this week, the ice could go out fast.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
With the exception of some open pockets around the bridges and a few current areas, the inland lakes remained ice-covered this week. The wind also blew ice into the point area of Duluth on Lake Superior so boats weren’t being put in here. Some anglers were fishing from shore in the Lester River and Stoney Point areas, although Kamloops reports have been pretty limited. There’s still snow in the woods and that’s limiting people from fishing the streams as well.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Most lakes are expected to be ice-free by this weekend. The shorelines were open quite a ways into the lakes on Tuesday and the ice that remained was deteriorating fast.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985
Most shorelines are deteriorating and the current areas have opened as well, but there were people ice fishing early this week. Whether or not that remains an option by this weekend is weather dependent. Crappies were being caught over 20 to 30 feet at White Iron Lake and Farm Lake or in less than 15 feet at Hobo Lake, Bass Lake, and Grassy Lake.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
The lakes have been open for more than a week, but there hasn’t been much fishing action to report. Look for crappies to be deep until water temperatures climb enough to push them shallow. Anglers at Tuttle Lake, along the Minnesota/Iowa border, are catching a few walleyes in less than 6 feet on jigs and minnows or plastics.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
Many shorelines have started to pull away, but the main ice pack was solid early this week with some limited ice fishing options. More than likely, those will no longer exist by this weekend. Warm weather and rain was forecasted this week.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
All streams and rivers were in excellent fishing condition early this week. There was some rain in the forecast for mid-week, and that could change things up a bit, but only for a short time. There has been some caddis and blue-wing olive hatches and both rainbow and brown trout have been hitting consistently. Spinners, crankbaits, flies, and nymphs have all been producing fish this week.
Root River Rod Company (507) 467-2101
Anglers were getting on a few lakes early this week, but that likely won’t be an option by this weekend. Despite plenty of main lake ice, most shorelines are now open far enough that getting on it is no longer possible.
The One Stop (218) 363-2252
MADISON LAKE AREA
Baker’s Bay on Lake Washington remains a safe bet for crappies and sunfish in 14 to 20 feet – you need a boat here. Anglers fishing from shore at the culvert on the west end of Lake Francis and the Sawmill Pond area of Big Jefferson Lake have been catching crappies.
Corner Bait (507) 243-4464
The shorelines and accesses have opened quite a ways, but there was plenty of main lake ice early this week. But this week’s rains were expected to eliminate most of any ice that still remained. There are some anglers, however, fishing the Snake River and catching sturgeon or suckers.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
Ice-out continues to move forward on Big Stone Lake with open shorelines and pockets of water now quite noticeable. Measurable rain and winds were expected for the area mid-week so that should speed the process up even more.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
There were some limited ice fishing options early this week, but the shorelines are opening fast. There’s still a lot of main lake ice, but it’s also deteriorating quickly.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
RED WING AREA
The public accesses were still under water and closed early this week, but Everts Landing is now open. Walleye action has been strong with hair jigs or plastics producing big walleyes in less than 10 feet, while most males are being found in 10 to 15 feet.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Any ice that remained looks as if it won’t be around much longer. Many lakes had more open water than ice early this week and a few people have started fishing from shore in a few spots. There’s also been some boats being used on the Horseshoe Chain where catfish are being caught.
Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975
There’s still quite a bit of ice on the main portions of most lakes, although many bays, channels, and harbors have opened. A few anglers have been trying these shallow areas for crappies, but they have not shown up in shallow water, yet.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
There was still some ice on area lakes early this week, but most of it should be gone by this weekend. Anglers fishing from shore on Ringo Lake and Foot Lake have started to find a few crappies out from the culverts.
J&J Hwy. 71 Bait and Tackle (320) 235-4097
Any ice that remains is rotten and most lakes have more open water than ice. A few crappies have started showing up in shallow water on lakes such as Shetek, Lac qui Parle, Bloody, and Fox, but most anglers are saying water temperatures were still too cold to really push them in early this week.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880