Minnesota Fish Tales Fishing Report
The Most In-Depth Statewide Fishing Report in Minnesota!
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- Ben's Bait & Tackle
Bennet or Craig Stich, Junction of Hwy 78 and 210 (218-864-5596)
Walleyes biting on Ottertail in 20 feet of water. Crappies and sunfish best on Stalker and Fish Lake. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows on most area lakes. Give us a call for an update!
- Veire's Mini-Mart - Visit our Facebook Page
Dave, 117 E Benton St, corner of Hwy 75 and 14 (507-368-4204)
Call Dave at Veire's for a current fishing report anytime!
- Timberline Sport & Tackle
Carl Adams, Junction of Hwy 71 and Blackduck Lake Rd. (218-835-4636)
Round, and Gull producing walleyes in 20-25 feet. Perch have been biting on Round Lake. Bluegills best on Gull Lake in the same depths.
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Toby Kvalevog and Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)
Well the walleye season has come to a close and time to start looking at the late ice bite for perch, panfish, crappies, tullibees, and eelpout. This is one of our favorite times of year to be on the ice. The sun is higher, warmer, you can often times hole hop around and more often than not find some success.
Last weekend was the 2015 International Eel Pout Festival. Our guide service once again was in charge of the fishing tournament piece and it was a banner year for the amount of pout caught. We weighed in over 570 eelpout this year which is one of the largest amounts in quite some time. The larger pout didn’t get caught in large numbers but we weighed a lot of fish in the 3-6lb range. The winner was Calen Zubke from LaPorte, Minnesota who weighed in a 10.55lb eelpout, it was awesome to see a young angler win the grand prize. Kevin Joslyn of LaPorte, MN won the individual tonnage award with 173.97lbs and Jamie Johnson of Mentor, MN won the Puny Pout with a pout that weighed in a .20 pounds. It sounded as if the fish were caught anywhere from 15-50ft of water using big spoons tipped with two to three minnows. This is the time of year they are starting to stage for the spawn, so the best pout fishing is still ahead of us. If you are looking for a fish that will bend the rod, put up and awesome fight, and taste great give pout fishing a try this late ice.
The perch fishing is still spotty throughout the lake. Shallow sight fishing is still producing fish and the best and most concentrated perch fishing has been in the weeds as well as small holes or indentations in sand flats if you can locate them. One of the best tools to use this time of year is your power auger and underwater camera to look for these structure characteristics. Look to areas around Sand Point, weedy bays such as Miller and Uran Bay on the south end, the areas around Duck and 2nd Duck Point, and all of the sand flats around Goose Island to start your chase.
The local lakes are still producing a solid panfish bite. With the limited snow cover a lot of fish are still being caught shallow in 7-10ft of water with tungsten jigs tipped with a plastic or euro larvae. Crappies are all over it seems. Some lakes finding them in the basins, especially more concentrated numbers of fish, but some of the bigger ones are still roaming the weed flats. Try upsizing your spoon or use a Chubby Darter when targeting these bigger slabs.
Give us a call if you are looking for a late ice bite!
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)
Crappies have been biting on North Center Lake. Pike have been biting on most area lakes. Give us a call for reports!
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)
Walleyes biting on Boulder Lake in 10 feet. Crappies and bluegills are best on Fish Lake. Stop in for details!
- Babe's Bait and Tackle - BabesBaitEly.com
500 Kawishiwi Trail, Ely, MN, first business on the left as you are entering town of Ely from the west on Hwy 169 (218-365-6930)
Another walleye and pike season has come to an end, but that doesn't mean we need to hang up the tackle just yet. Some great fishing for trout, sunfish and crappies still remains, and this can be some of the best action of the winter season. The fishing pressure has been greatly reduced and this minimal traffic allows fish to settle down and resume their normal feeding patterns without being pushed around by noise from above. Stream trout lakes such as Tofte, High, Dry and the Glacier Ponds hold very good numbers of trout and the access to these waters is for the most part easy. Try fishing the first couple hours of daylight with diminutive baits like ice flies tipped with a wax worm and a subtle approach, then as light develops get more aggressive with small spoons. Crappie action will begin to build and continue to get better up till ice out. Birch and Fall Lakes have already begun to turn out some crappies approaching fourteen inches, which indicates a good supply of fish ahead.
- Fish On Bait & Sport www.habitatnow.com
Kyle, 201 S Franklin St, 2 blocks south of stoplights in Glenwood (320-634-3667)
Sunfish and crappie bite has been good with really good sizes…but the bite has been challenging at times. A lot of fish down there, just have to try different techniques to get them to bite. Freshwater shrimp have been working the best. Walleye bite has also been good with some catching close to limits while others struggle…really healthy fish however. Pike and bass have also been very active as usual. Really hard not to catch fish on Minnewaska!! We will have all the favorite bait on hand as well as a full line of tackle...along with advice and destinations to try...fish house rental is available also. We also have the "Habitat Outlet Store" well stocked with some of the most diverse and high quality food plot and native prairie seeds for habitat development. Many people looking at "spring food plots" now and ideas for habitat projects to improve their property. Also visit the Habitat Outlet on line at www.HabitatNOW.com for all your spring and fall habitat needs. Fish On! Kyle
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Jim Tuller, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)
Bait Supply is good. Shiners have gotten tough to find but as of right now we have a tank full. We also have Rainbows and Large Rainbows. Fatheads have been beautiful recently. Leech Lake perch and walleye reports have been decent. Perch in the Pine Point/Goose Island area and Sand Point. Depth has ranged from 5'-18'. The head of a minnow on a Northland Buck Shot Rattle Spoon has been the go-to. The key to Perch fishing has been drilling holes and moving to locate and stay on the larger fish. Look for sand/weed or sand/rock edges for a good starting point. Walleye action has been good on the shoreline breaks and breaks on main lake humps. Fishing just off the top edge of the breaks has been producing the most consistent action. A minnow head on a Snyder's Big Shaker jig has put quite a few 'eyes on the ice this winter. Putting a Large Rainbow hooked behind the dorsal fin under a bobber and letting it swim has been working well for catching the picture fish. Pay close attention to the ice heaves while traveling on the lake. It is still not safe to cross them, and with all of the temperature fluctuations they are changing by the hour. Crappies have been in 22-30 feet. Look for areas where the deeper basins transition to shallower flats. Look for fish to be suspended 4-6' off of the bottom. Crappie minnows on a small jig always work well. Plastics are also working well to put crappies in the bucket. The Trigger X mustache worm can get finicky fish to bite.
- Gateway Store kabfishingreport.com - gatewaygeneral.com
Phil & Ellen Hart, US Hwy 53 & Co Rd 122, 30 miles south of Int'l Falls-Canadian border (218-875-2121)
WOW – the winter season for ice fishing is soon coming to a close on inland waters in Minnesota including Kabetogama, this does not include Namakan Lake. Walleye, sauger and pike season ends Februry 22nd on Kabetogama and remains open till mid-April n Namakan. Tough week for anglers this past week, extremely cold, lots of wind and snow hampered efforts to get to your permanent house or pull a portable. Consequently nothing to report on angler success. This week looks more promising for anglers, weather should cooperate letting anglers get to their destination. Minnows lead the way as best bait choice. The bite sees to favor 30-35’ deep for perch, walleye and sauger. Northern pike scattered, but strike with a vengeance. Snowmobile trails are near excellent on the lakes and land trails. We still have some winter to enjoy, come up and visit.
See you Soon,
Phil & Ellen Hart
LAKE OF THE WOODS
- Lake of the Woods Area Tourism Bureau - www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com
near Junction of Hwy 11 and Hwy 172 in Baudette, (1-800-382-FISH)
Some monster walleyes this week with a nice mix of walleyes, saugers and jumbo perch in the buckets. The northern part of Big Traverse from Knight and Bridges islands up to Garden Island in 26-32' still giving up fish. Some resorts on south shore moving fish houses back closer to south shore with good results. A hit and miss morning bite reported in 15-18' off of Zippel Bay and Pine Island. Some big pike caught this week in front of Zippel Bay. Reefs off of Long Point producing mixed bag with some jumbo perch mixed in. Colors, good reports with gold, glow red, and pink. On the Rainy River, locals still catching walleyes in 15-20'. Best time is evening. Some sturgeon being caught and released. Please work through outfitters and bait shops and know where you are going on ice. Up at the NW Angle good fishing continues around reefs in 22 - 30'. Jig one line, dead stick second line. A mixed bag, with walleyes, saugers, pike, jumbo perch and tulibees. NW Angle resorts targeting crappies having good success with crappies up to 16". Fish houses on ice through March 31st. Walleye season open to April 14th. Pike open all year. New Visitor's Guide at http://lakeofthewoodsmn.lunarcow.com
Lake of the Woods Resorts
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)
Cold fronts have been keeping fishing on the slow side, but if you dare to go you can find some good action on Stoney and Sand points. Jigging spoons tipped with fatheads seem to be going good! Perch in Agency Bay, crappies in Boy Bay, good dusk and dawn bite. Very little snow, so travel is still pretty good! Come and enjoy Leech lake with us!
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - www.kuduksguideservice.com (320-630-1761)
Mille Lacs walleyes and perch biting. Tullibie hitting on the mud flats. Anglers are catching fish on 7-mile, Sherman's, east gravel. Platte, Sullivan, Knife and Ann lakes are producing panfish. Chris has a few openings for guided trips, walleyes or perch. Give him a call for up to the minute reports!
- Jeff Hanson's Guide Service
- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)
Crappies best on Minnetonka, Independence, and Medicine Lake. Sunfish hitting on Black Lake on Minnetonka and on Lake Sarah.
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
Mississippi River Pool Four action starts to heat up as the days grow longer. It is still chilly in the air, but starting mid February we should have some nice weather to get out and enjoy the bite. As the days grow longer more and more fish arrive below the dam area. My guide service targets this area. We did best drifting Dubuque rigs downstream, but most fish were on the minnow. The bite is best when the walleye and saugers are hitting the plastics. Mississippi River Pool Four water temp 33 and flow 9,000 cfs.
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Nathan, www.smokyhillsoutdoorstore.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
With Walleye, Northern, and Bass winding down to a halt for the next couple of months, anglers are hitting the lakes harder than ever looking for that one special Northern or Walleye before the season comes to a quit. The majority of the Park Rapids winter is behind us and spring is just around the corner. The mature walleyes will now migrate toward shallow waters looking to pack on the pounds before the spawn. Find 12-18 feet of water along tall standing weeds. Aggressive jigging will be the ticket to snagging a trophy walleye! Rig up a Northland or VMC UV Buckshot tipped with the head of a minnow for the best results! The monster pike will be following, if not leading the walleyes to the shallows for the abundance of the smaller baitfish that are essential for the spawn. Locate 8 to 20 feet of water around any structural patterns such as rock piles or submergent vegetation. Dig out your tip-ups and make sure to pick up a dozen bigger sized sucker minnows or golden shiners along with a pack of Northland™ “Easy Set” or “Kahle” glow hooks for your chance to hook a massive northern pike. Sunfish and crappies will now congregate in the shallow water. As the shallows fill with pre-spawn predators; sunfish and crappies are going to be scooting towards the standing weeds and structures looking for a place to hide. Maximize your chances of hosting a fish fry by dead sticking or jigging with a small crappie minnow affixed to a VMC™ “Tungsten Tubby.” Stop by Smokey Hills Outdoor Store to see the all new 8x24’ Ice Castle “Northern Exposure” and get the latest and greatest fishing tips and tricks for the Park Rapids area!
- Wheaton Service & Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)
With the warm whether, Lake Traverse has lost all its snow, we have 20" of clear ice. Stop into our bait shop and we'll show you on the map where not to go due to thinner ice. Wheaton Service offers spear house rentals as well as angling houses. Fishing and spearing both have been GOOD! Come fish with us and stay at our newly opened Fish'in Hole Lodge. Heats on holes drill and bait waiting for you. Wheatonservice.com, See Wheaton Service on Facebook! Wheaton Service is a full service bait shop and guide service for groups of 2-10 people.
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)
Huge Crappie weighed in. Check out the pics!
We see a lot of big fish come into the marina each season, but this weekend we had one of the biggest, if not the biggest Crappie we've seen come from Lake Waconia. Congrats to Mark Koehnen for his one-in-a-lifetime catch! This giant measured in at just under 19 inches and weighed 3 pounds 4 ounces (and it was frozen when weighed, so it was definitely heavier when it was caught on 2/13/15). Take a look at the difference between the typical Waconia crappie he's holding, and the behemoth in his other hand! Wow. Before you ask, all we can say is that it was caught on Lake Waconia. :)
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, firstname.lastname@example.org, (218-327-2312)
Travel has been excellent all winter and continues to provide good possibilities for anglers coming to Big Winnie. With the season closed for walleyes and northern pike, perch fishing takes center stage on Big Winnie. Winnie has long had a reputation for providing great perch fishing. There are many different depths that the perch can be found, but this time of year until ice out, will provide better action shallower rather than deeper humps and breaks. Tamarac Bay on the S/E side of Big Winnie has been good all winter, as areas of Raven, Sugar and Mallard Points. Depths of 8-14 feet have been best. Drill lots of holes looking for active fish and especially this time of year try smaller baits for better success. I have been using VMC Tubby Jigs and small Flash Champ spoons. I include 4-5 Euro Larvae on the Flash Champ and 2-3 on the Tubby jig. If the fish become really active I will use a #3 Jigging Rap as well. Neighboring Big and Little Cutfoot also provides good opportunities for bluegills and crappies. There are also good opportunities for decent perch mixed in. Take care and Spring is right around the corner.