Minnesota fishing report from Outdoor News
LAKE MILLE LACS
East: Perch reports have improved with better numbers of bigger fish being found in 25 feet of water or more on the gravel and mud. Look to the Four Mile and Five Mile gravel as starting points. Walleye action has slowed in deep water, but the low-light bite in 12 to 18 feet of water has been better. Tullibee action continues to be very good throughout the lake in deep water.
West: Perch and tullibee reports are very good in 30 to 34 feet. The mud flats such as Seven Mile, Eight Mile, Sherman’s, and Seguchie’s have been best. Walleye action has been more inconsistent this week, but the deep water remains the best bet during the day with the tops of the flats a more likely target during low-light periods. Stay on the move and you’ll increase your odds of catching walleyes.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
The best reports are coming from 11 to 15 miles out and even beyond that to the Knight and Bridges areas. The reefs are holding walleyes, sauger, and perch in 33 to 35 feet with glow jigging spoons being most productive and limits have been common this week. There has been some consistent walleye action reported in the Oak Island area as well in 30 feet or more.
LEECH LAKE AREA
Travel on the lake remains an issue due to snow and slush. The best roads are coming off Pine Point and anglers are finding perch during the day off Goose Island and the GrandVu Flats in eight to 12 feet. These areas also give up a few walleyes during low-light periods. The deep humps in Walker Bay are giving up walleyes as well, but it’s tough to get around on this portion of the lake — snowmobiles remain the best option.
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
You’ll find sunfish during the day and crappies during the evening hours on Lake Minnetonka throughout Carson’s Bay in 19 feet, Spring Park in 12 feet, and the north arm in 23 feet. Crappies remain active at Medicine Lake over 40 feet and on Lake Sarah sunfish and crappies are being found suspended over 23 feet. Lake Independence is giving up crappies and walleyes in 27 feet, while Browns Bay and Wayzata Bay on Minnetonka are producing a few walleyes in 30 to 40 feet.
Small walleyes seem to be most active with Sand Bay and the American Narrows producing most of them. Jigging spoons and minnow heads are working best in these areas over 30 to 40 feet. Cranberry Bay continues to provide the best northern pike action in 15 to 20 feet and crappie reports have been minimal.
Anglers are limited to the spots they can get to due to snow and slush. It’s best to stay on the plowed roads and even with a snowmobile, slush has caused issues throughout the lake. Perch are bitting in 20 to 30 feet in areas such as Moses Bar, Horseshoe Bar, and the Snaghole. Walleye action is limited to a few fish during the evening hours in these same locations.
Crappies started hitting on the St. Croix River in 30 to 40 feet. White Bear Lake is kicking out walleyes in 20 to 30 feet and you’ll find crappies in 12 to 15 feet here. On Bald Eagle Lake, crappies are biting during low-light periods in 25 feet. Tip-ups and sucker minnows are producing northern pike in the shallow weeds of Lake Jane and Demonterville Lake. Look to Lake Peltier and Centerville Lake in less than 10 feet for sunfish.
Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows in 12 to 14 feet on Lake Auburn and Lake Zumbra. Look to Lake Susan and Rietz Lake for sunfish again this week in 12 to 14 feet. Lake Parley is giving up a mixed bag of panfish in 12 to 16 feet and the Dexter side of Whaletail Lake is worth noting for crappies in 14 to 18 feet.
A few walleyes can be had late at night with setlines and fatheads on the 13- to 18-foot breaks off Kegg’s Reef, North Reef, and Anderson’s Reef. You’ll find sunfish in 10 to 15 feet and crappies in 16 to 22 feet off Center Reef and Pillsbury Reef. Tip-ups and sucker minnows are producing northern pike on the weedlines.
Crappies continue to be found suspended over 24 to 28 feet at lakes Geneva, Darling, Carlos, and Le Homme Dieu. You’ll find some sunfish on these lakes in shallower water. An occasional walleye is pulled from Lake Miltona during low-light periods in 20 to 35 feet.
Pelican Lake near Monticello is producing sunfish and crappies in six to eight feet. Walleye action is limited to low-light periods on Clearwater Lake and Sugar Lake in 20 to 28 feet. Sucker minnows are turning northern pike in eight to 15 feet on lakes John, Cedar, and Clearwater. Look for suspended crappies over 25 to 30 feet at French Lake and Buffalo Lake.
Shiner minnows are turning walleyes in 30 to 35 feet at West Battle Lake and in 20 to 25 feet at Otter Tail Lake. The flats on Otter Tail continue to produce perch via fatheads. Sucker minnows are the ticket for northern pike in 17 to 20 feet at West Battle, Otter Tail, and South Turtle Lake. Look for suspended panfish over 20 to 25 feet at lakes Severson, East Lost, East Battle, South Turtle, and West Battle.
Setlines are producing a few walleyes during the evening hours in 25 to 27 feet at Lake Bemidji and Lake Plantagenet. Look for active northern pike on these lakes in shallower water as well. Fatheads and jigs are turning perch at Pike Bay Lake in 18 to 20 feet. On Grant Lake, bluegills and crappies are being found suspended over 25 to 27 feet.
Perch action remains very consistent at Blackduck Lake in 14 feet or 18 to 20 feet. A few walleyes can be had on Blackduck during low-light periods in 15 to 18 feet. Gull Lake started giving up bluegills in 18 feet and you’ll find suspended crappies over 30 feet at Gilstead Lake.
Walleyes are hitting shiner minnows in 17 to 32 feet on the south end of Gull Lake and Pelican Lake. Rosy red minnows and a glow jig are turning crappies in eight to 22 feet at Round Lake, Lake Margaret, and the south end of Gull. Look for sunfish at Round, the south end of Gull, and Nisswa Lake. Northern pike are most active in eight to 18 feet at Gull, North Long Lake, and Lake Edwards.
North Center Lake and Chisago Lake are kicking out sunfish in six to 10 feet. Crappies continue to be found suspended over 24 to 30 feet at Chisago and a few walleyes have been caught on South Center Lake in 14 to 16 feet with shiner minnows. Sunrise Lake is kicking out northern pike via sucker minnows in 10 to 12 feet.
Spoons and minnow heads or setlines and rainbow minnows are producing walleyes in 22 to 28 feet at Serpent Lake, Farm Island Lake, and Pelican Lake. Find the 12- to 14-foot weed edge on Mission Lake and Nokay Lake and you will catch northern pike on tip-ups and sucker minnows. Lakes such as Bay, Cedar, Clearwater, and Nokay continue to produce crappies, while lakes Mahnomen and Milford are providing a mixed bag of panfish.
CROSS LAKE AREA
The Whitefish Chain and many other area lakes continue to produce walleyes in shallow and deep water. Anglers are catching fish in the 12- to 16-foot weeds on setlines and shiner minnows or with spoons in deeper water, 28 to 36 feet. Northern pike are hitting minnows in 12 to 16 feet on most lakes and the best panfish action is taking place early and late in the day throughout the area. Lake trout reports are limited to a few fish off Trout Lake over 90 feet or more.
Travel conditions remain difficult on most lakes, especially after the wind blows and closes the roads that have been used. Crappies are being caught on Big Detroit Lake, Deadshot Bay, and Lake Melissa in 18 to 20 feet and on Little Detroit Lake in 12 to 14 feet. Walleye action has slowed considerably this week, although there hasn’t been many people after them. Look for sunfish in or around the shallow weeds on Little Detroit, Melissa, and Floyd Lake.
Walleyes and northern pike are being caught on chubs at Island Lake in 12 to 14 feet. Sucker minnows are the ticket for northern pike at Rice Lake in six feet and Fish Lake is kicking out crappies in 18 feet. The Duluth Bay on the St Louis River remains a safe bet for walleyes and crappies in 10 feet.
Crappies and sunfish are hitting in 14 to 16 feet at Blue Lake. Little Elk Lake is producing panfish in 11 feet as well. Tip-ups and sucker minnows are producing northern pike at Elk Lake in seven to 11 feet and along the eight- foot weedline of Little Ann Lake.
More measurable snow last week shut down the little fishing that was taking place. At this point, you can’t get on most lakes and those that people can get on aren’t producing much of a bite. Lake trout, walleye, and pike reports have all been very poor.
Fox Lake is kicking out crappies and perch and the occasional walleye is caught after dark in 12 to 16 feet. Big Twin Lake is worth noting for crappies and walleyes, while Hall Lake is giving up perch and crappies in 15 to 18 feet. Look to Lake Sissiton for bluegills and perch in 15 to 17 feet.
Fishing reports have been pretty limited this week. Walleye, sunfish, and northern pike action has been nonexistent throughout the area. Anglers are finding a few crappies suspended over 30 feet at French Lake. Look to Cannon Lake with minnows or waxworms for perch in eight to 10 feet.
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Waxworms on a small spoon or ice fly is producing rainbow trout at Leo Lake in 12 to 15 feet, Kemo Lake in eight to 10 feet, Kimball Lake in eight to 14 feet, and over 18 to 20 feet at Mink Lake. Shoe Lake is kicking out splake and brook trout in six to 12 feet and Musquash Lake is worth noting for splake in 18 feet. Lake trout reports have been slower with Kemo giving up a few in 25 to 30 feet and Lake Saganaga over 35 to 40 feet.
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
A few walleyes are being found in 15 to 30 feet at Lake Pokegama, Moose Lake, and Sugar Lake during low-light periods. Lake trout reports have been limited, but look to Caribou Lake, Bluewater Lake, and Pit Lake for a few over 30 to 60 feet. Sunfish can be had in 15 to 18 feet at Big Splithand Lake, Bass Lake, and Grave Lake, while crappies are suspended and active late in the day at Big Cutfoot Sioux Lake and Big Splithand.
The lakes are "firming up" but snowmobiles are the best bet for travel. Pleasant Lake and Birch Lake are worth looking at for panfish in 15 to 20 feet. Woman Lake is giving up panfish in 14 to 18 feet and Webb Lake is producing crappies in 12 to 15 feet. Walleye and pike reports are limited.
Additional snow over the last week has taken ice conditions from bad to worse. Many of the traditional winter fishing spots have yet to have any activity on them due to lake conditions. Some anglers are getting out to the Ash River mouth, but fishing reports are poor.
Jigging Rapalas are producing walleyes on the southeast end of Madison Lake in 16 to 18 feet. Work the north end of Baker’s Bay on Lake Washington for panfish in 12 to 14 feet. Lake Francis is a safe bet for pike in 10 to 12 feet and German Lake is kicking out panfish in eight to 14 feet.
Perch action was pretty good on Big Stone Lake last week and Lake Oliver was producing crappies. But another 12 inches of snow hit this area on Monday so fishing options quickly became limited. Look for these bites to pick up once people start to again get on the ice.
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Fishing reports have been limited due to the cold and less-than-stellar lake conditions. Sucker minnows are producing pike on Fish Hook Lake and Big Mantrap Lake in eight to 14 feet. Look to Fish Hook for bluegills in 14 to 16 feet and crappies over 20 to 25 feet. On Portage Lake, a few panfish are being caught in 14 feet.
PINE CITY AREA
The north end of Lake Pokegama is producing crappies in 19 feet of water and you’ll pop a few walleyes and northern pike on the eight- to 10-foot weedlines. Look for walleyes and perch in 19 to 22 feet at East Rush Lake and there’s a night bite for crappies on West Rush Lake in 30 feet. Knife Lake continues to give up crappies straight out from the access in 11 feet. At Goose Lake, crappies are being caught over 30 feet of water during the evening hours.
Walleye action has been sporadic with some spurts of activity reported in 12 to 15 feet along the east and south shorelines and on the 14- to 16-foot mud flats. A few walleyes continue to be caught in six to eight feet during the evening hours as well and several pike over 40 inches have been caught by walleye anglers again this week.
RED WING AREA
Sucker minnows or spoons are producing northern pike in 12 feet around Baypoint Park. A few panfish can be had during low-light periods at the Baypoint Park docks and jigging spoons are turning walleyes and sauger in 18 to 25 feet off Methodist Point. Anglers in boats on the Mississippi River are catching walleyes and sauger on bright-colored hair jigs and a minnow, below the dam, in 18 to 20 feet.
ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA
Crappies remain suspended over 20 to 24 feet of water at Horseshoe Lake, Cedar Island Lake, and Long Lake. On Pearl Lake, you’ll find a mixed bag of panfish in 12 to 17 feet. A few walleyes can be had during low-light periods in 20 to 30 feet at Rice Lake and Lake Koronis. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows in 12 to 14 feet at Pearl and Grand Lake. Look to the deep holes on Horseshoe for suspended catfish.
Panfish continue to keep anglers busy on the Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska. The majority of sunfish are being caught in 12 to 15 feet, while the crappies are roaming 15 to 17 feet and most active during low-light periods. Northern pike also have been taken on the Glenwood end of Minnewaska on sucker minnows in 12 feet during the day.
Walleye and northern pike action is very slow, but panfish are cooperating on a few lakes. Solomon Lake is a safe bet for crappies during the evening hours in 10 feet, as is Diamond Lake in eight feet. On Green Lake, anglers are finding sunfish and crappies in 15 feet. Lake Andrew is giving up a few good-sized crappies during low-light periods as well.