Fishing Report: Ice holds out for late season ice fishing
Mille Lacs Lake
With the exception of some panfish in the bays or perch close to shore on the main lake, fishing pressure has been very limited. With cracks and heaves limiting travel options on the main lake and the uncertainty of ice conditions the further out you go, there just hasn't been a lot of people on the lake.
Sunfish reports have been best in 6 to 10 feet on North Long Lake, Cullen Lake, Nisswa Lake, and Roy Lake. Look for crappies on the same lakes in deeper water and the north end of Gull Lake continues to produce tullibees and eelpout in 30 feet or more. All-terrain vehicles continue to be used throughout the area where good access points exist.
Cass Lake area
Perch continue to hit on the east and west shorelines of Cass Lake along the 8-foot sand/grass areas. The east side of Pike Bay Lake also is producing perch in 8 to 12 feet. Look to Wolf Lake, Lake Andrusia, and Lower Sucker Lake for crappies over the 25- to 30-foot mud. Bluegills have been tough to find, but the 18-foot grass on Kitchi Lake is producing a few. There were no issues with accesses or main lake ice early this week.
The return of cold weather has helped lock up most shorelines so anglers are walking or using ATVs — it just depends on the lake. Crappies are being caught over 25 to 30 feet on Bay Lake and Mission Lake or 22 to 25 feet at Turner Lake and Milford Lake. Bluegill action has been somewhat slow, but look to Rogers Lake in 6 to 10 feet for some fish.
Anglers continue to use ATVs throughout the area and even trucks on some lakes. The northwest end of Lake Esquagamah is producing crappies over 20 to 22 feet. Lawrence Lake is giving up sunfish in 16 to 18 feet.
Crappies and bluegills continue to be found mixed together in 10 to 12 feet on Pleasant Lake, Birch Lake, Webb Lake, and Lindsey Lake. Any shorelines that were beat up have healed with the cooler weather so ATVs are a safe travel option in this area.
Ice conditions were good early this week and trucks were being used. That could change with the next stretch of warm days so ATVs might be the best way to travel this weekend. Crappies continue to be caught on Lake Wabedo over 35 to 40 feet, and you'll find perch in 8 feet in Broadwater Bay on Woman Lake. Big Boy Lake is producing crappies, sunfish, and perch in 12 feet.