MINNESOTA FISHING REPORT
From Outdoor News
Crappies and sunfish have become more plentiful in the bays, channels, and around docks in three to five feet. Minnows and waxworms are working best on Lake Margaret, Upper Gull Lake, Roy Lake, Pelican Lake, and Green Lake.
LAKE MILLE LACS
There hasn't been much fishing to report but anglers should expect a good opener. With the cool water you'll want to work slow and down-size your presentations. Look to the shallow breaks, shallow reefs, and north-end sand to be holding the most active fish.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Water temperatures remain relatively cool. Expect the best walleye action this weekend to take place in shallow water on the main-lake shorelines, river, and gap areas in less than 12 feet. A jig and minnow should be the best presentation in the aforementioned areas.
LEECH LAKE AREA
A few crappies have been caught on the smaller lakes, but the bays on Leech haven't been that productive. With some warm weather during this week that should change and those traditional, spring panfish locations could be loading up with panfish.
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Slip bobbers and minnows are turning crappies in six feet throughout the dark-bottomed bays of Lake Minnetonka, Medicine Lake, and Lake Independence. Waxworms have started to produce sunfish in these same spots as well.
A few northern pike are being taken in Black Bay and Jackfish Bay on crankbaits. Crappie action remains slow and the Rainy River is kicking out suckers and there's been quite a few accidental sturgeon catches reported from the river.
Fishing reports have been non-existent, but the opener is expected to be good. Concentrate on the shallow drops, points, and wind-driven shorelines with a jig and minnow in six to 10 feet for walleyes, northern pike, and perch.
Minnows are producing crappies in six feet or less at White Bear Lake and Bald Eagle Lake. The north end of Big Marine Lake and the south side of Silver Lake also are kicking out crappies in shallow water. A jig and minnow continues to be best for walleyes in the Prescott area of the St. Croix River in 20 feet.
The shoreline on the west side of Lake Bavaria is a safe bet for crappies in three to six feet. Sunfish action has improved on Lake Zumbra with waxworms in six feet. Look to the northeast side of Lake Parley for crappies in seven feet.
Work the shorelines in two to seven feet for crappies and sunfish. Waconia Bay continues to provide steady action, but the panfish bite seems to be improving daily throughout most traditional spring spots in shallow water.
Crappies and sunfish have been moving in and out of the bays and lagoons with the changing weather. When the sun comes out look for consistent action in two to five feet at Lake Ida, Reno Lake, Lobster Lake, Lake Carlos, Lake Darling, and Lake Le Homme Dieu.
Sunfish continue to be tough to find, but crappies have moved into the shallow bays and boat harbors on area lakes. Look to lakes Pulaski, Cedar, Clearwater, Sylvia, and Sugar for the biggest concentrations of fish in three to six feet.
Sunfish action is slow, but most shallow bays are holding crappies. A pink jig tipped with a minnow is working best during the afternoon and evening hours at Clitherall Lake, Elbow Lake, Phelp's Mill, Leon Lake, the channel at Wall Lake, and the Ten Mile Lake culvert.
Minnows are turning good-sized perch in three to six feet at Big Lake and Lake Irving. Midge Lake and Wolf Lake are giving up a few crappies via minnows in six to 12 feet. On Grant Lake, bluegills and crappies have started hitting in eight to 10 feet.
Crappie and bluegill action continues to be slow in the shallow water of most lakes. A few crappies have been taken with minnows at Gilstead Lake and Pimushe Lake in eight to 10 feet. Look for other area lakes to start kicking out panfish in shallower water within the next few days.
CASS LAKE AREA
Crappies and sunfish continue to be found over 18 to 20 feet in areas adjacent to the traditional spring shallow locations. Allen's Bay, Dick's Bay, and the Pike Hole on Cass Lake, the northwest end of Kitchi Lake, north end of Lake Andrusia, and the southwest corner of Pike Bay Lake are worth noting.
Crappies and sunfish continue to be found in good numbers in the bays, channels, and along most shorelines in three to seven feet. Small jigs tipped with minnows or waxworms are working best at North Center Lake, Chisago Lake, South Lindstrom Lake, Little Green Lake, and South Center Lake.
Panfish action remains slow and it appears as of early this week that the sunfish and crappies still haven't moved shallow. The only reports worth noting are coming off Milford Lake and Black Hoof Lake where a few panfish have been taken in three to six feet.
Sunfish and crappies remain active in three to seven feet on many lakes. Small jigs tipped with waxies or minnows are turning fish most consistently at Big Cormorant Lake, Floyd Lake, Lake Sallie, Pelican Lake, Little Detroit Lake, Lake Melissa, Deadshot Bay, and Little Cormorant Lake.
The bridge on Fish Lake is kicking out crappies in 10 feet as is the bridge area of Island Lake over 20 feet. Look to Comstock Lake with tubes or minnows in four to six feet for crappies. On Lake Superior, cohos and small king salmon are being caught on stickbaits near the surface around Park Point and along the south shore.
Sunfish action is limited, but crappies are hitting minnows in shallow water at Blue Lake and Elk Lake. There hasn't been much crappie activity reported from other lakes.
Panfish reports have been non-existent, but there hasn't been many anglers out. Most people seem to be waiting for opening day, which is expected to be good along the shorelines of most lakes. The water is cool so jig and minnow worked slowly could be the best option.
Minnows are producing crappies in four feet at Lake Emily. The east side of Emily also is giving up sunfish in two to four feet. The southwest bay on Ruth Lake started kicking out crappies in less than five feet.
Crappies are being taken on minnows in 10 to 15 feet at Hall Lake, Budd Lake, Lake Sissiton, and Fox Lake. Expect these fish to keep moving shallower in the next few days. On the Minnesota/Iowa border, a few walleyes are being taken at Tuttle Lake in three to six feet on jigs and plastics or spinners and nightcrawlers.
The bay on Cedar Lake continues to produce crappies via minnows. The creek mouths at Shields Lake also have provided decent crappie action. Crappie and sunfish reports from other lakes are limited.
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Many of the small lakes still had ice on them early this week. The bigger lakes such as Saganaga, Seagull, Gunflint, and Loon were wide open and should be the best opening day walleye options. Steelhead were hitting spawn sacs and yarn-tied hooks on the Cascade River, Brule River, and Kadunce Creek.
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
Sunfish reports have been limited, but there's been a definite improvement in the crappie bite. The shallow bays of Lake Pokegama, Lake Wabana, Bowstring Lake, Big Cutfoot Sioux Lake, and Little Cutfoot Sioux Lake have all kicked out crappies. On Jay Gould Lake, you'll find sunfish and crappies in shallow water.
Crappies have just started hitting minnows in shallow water in the bays of Woman Lake and Birch Lake. With some warmer weather this week, look for other lakes to start kicking out panfish in shallow water as well.
Given the late ice-out and cool water temperatures, expect a shallow walleye bite on opening day. Small jigs tipped with minnows should work best if presented slow along the shorelines, bays, islands, and current areas.
Mud Bay and Baker's Bay on Lake Washington continue to produce crappies and sunfish in three to six feet. Minnows are turning crappies at the culvert on the east end of Madison Lake. The Buckmaster's bridge area of Madison is worth noting for crappies as well in slightly deeper water.
Minnows and waxworms are producing a mixed bag of perch, crappies, and sunfish in shallow water at Big Sandy Lake. The shallow bays on other area lakes should start producing panfish within the next week with the rising water temperatures.
Walleyes are being caught on jigs and minnows along the shoreline of Big Stone Lake in two to six feet. The most consistent areas this week have been Meadowbrook, Hartford Beach, Mallard Point, and Fish Creek. Crappie action has improved in shallow water at Artichoke Lake with minnows.
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Shallow bays on Fish Hook Lake and the Crow Wing Chain are producing crappies and sunfish in less than six feet. The shoreline of Long Lake also is providing panfish action in shallow water. Brown trout are hitting spinners or crawlers on the Straight River.
Crappie and sunfish action really improved this week. Both can be found in the shallow bays of most lakes in three to six feet. Lakes such as Loon, Star, Little McDonald, Dead, Big Pine, and Little Pine are all kicking out good panfish numbers.
A few slab crappies are being caught in the shallows along the northeast and south shores and sucker fishing is decent in ditches and creeks. Lake levels are up so access should be good for this weekend's opener.
RED WING AREA
Walleyes and sauger are hitting hair jigs and minnows or blade baits in six to eight feet below the dam on the Mississippi River. Similar presentations are turning fish at the mouth of Hay Creek and the mouth of Baypoint Park in 12 to 14 feet.
ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA
Sunfish and crappie action has improved in the shallow bays and channels of most lakes. Leading the way this week is Lake Koronis, Rice Lake, Cedar Island Lake, Long Lake, and Horseshoe Lake. The majority of fish is showing up in less than six feet and hitting minnows or waxworms.
SAUK CENTRE AREA
The north bays on Sauk Lake started producing crappies in shallow water. Crappies also have started hitting on Pennington Bay at Fairy Lake and in Hunter's Bay on Big Birch Lake. The north bay of Lake Osakis is kicking out sunfish and crappies in three to six feet.
Crappie and sunfish activity has improved in the shallow bays and along the shorelines of most lakes. Decent panfish action was reported in three to six feet at Willmar/Foot Lake, Diamond Lake, Lake Solomon, Nest Lake, Lake Florida, and Elkhorn Lake.