Minnesota Fish Tales Fishing Report
The Most In-Depth Statewide Fishing Report in Minnesota!
View Minnesota Fish Tales Fishing Reports in a larger map
© 2017 OutdoorsWeekly.com - Copyright Info
Read Wisconsin Fishing Reports here
- Ben's Bait & Tackle
Bennet or Craig Stich, Junction of Hwy 78 and 210 (218-864-5596)
Walleyes are biting in 10-15 feet on Ottertail. Try West Battle Lake in 30 feet for walleyes. Sunfish are in 12-15 feet on East and West Battle lakes. Crappies have been biting on Rush, Fish, Stalker, and Blanche. Try West Battle, Otter Tail or Stalker for some northern pike. Anglers report using sucker minnows on a tip-up.
- Veire's Mini-Mart
Dave, 117 E Benton St, corner of Hwy 75 and 14 (507-368-4204)
Call us for current ice fishing conditions!
- Timberline Sport & Tackle
Carl Adams, Junction of Hwy 71 and Blackduck Lake Rd. (218-835-4636)
Gull and Pimushe are producing panfish in 15-20 feet during the evening hours. Try Blackduck, Round and Island for walleyes are perch in 10-15 feet of water.
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Jason Freed, Toby Kvalevog, Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)
2-2-The walleye bite remains sporadic on the lake. When we are able to get some consistent weather patterns the bite seems to pick back up and then the cold fronts can slow it back down. On the Main Lake, continue to seek out new spots that haven't been touched. Key in on high percentage areas such as pinch points, inside turns along breaklines, or under water points and edges on main lake reefs. 18-25ft are good areas to start, but don't be afraid to go deeper depending on the conditions. Jigging spoons such as flutter type baits or rattle baits are all working tipped with a minnow head, but when the bite has been tougher the dead sticks have been best.
In Walker Bay, focus on deeper humps in 25-30ft of water. It seems the steeper edges of these humps are often times better than the gradual sides, but once again key in on high percentage areas on the structure. The shallow bite near Cedar has been sporadic, but can be really good this time of year if you are able to get set up and be there when the fish move through.
The perch bite has been improving as well. Still alot of sorting to be had. Try looking anywhere between 5-12 ft of water. That is alot of area on Leech, but look for sand/weed transitions or any greed weeds. 1/8th oz jigging spoons packed full of euro larvae or a minnow is a great search tactic. Drill alot of holes and keep on moving until you connect. Look to West Goose Flats, Hardwoods, and the Duck Points as well Agency Bay for possible starting locations..
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)
A-frame area on Chisago is producing sunfish. North Center is producing crappies and sunfish in 10-15 feet. Walleyes and pike are biting in the channel between Chisago and South Lindstrom, on Green Lake and South Lindstrom ranging from 5-15 feet.
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)
Boulder and Rice are producing walleyes. The St. Louis Harbor area of Lake Superior is also a good bet for walleyes. Pike are hitting tip-ups on Fish Lake.
- 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)
2/19 - Action remains steady on local lakes for panfish and trout fishermen. The most consistent reports for stream trout are coming from Miners, Tofte, and High and DryLakes. Small jigs tipped with waxies are effective, as well as salted minnows and jigging spoons. Many anglers are reporting actual activity right below their drilled holes in less than ten feet of water. The crappie bite has begun to gain momentum, with good catches from Fall, East Twin, and Birch Lakes, with some measuring up to fourteen inches. Dead stick minnows are working well, but more and more anglers are discovering the benefits of using small, soft plastics on a jig. Most fish are coming from twelve to twenty-one feet of water and as typical, early and late bite is best. Sunfish action is really some of the best we've experienced this season with nice limits coming from Low, East Twin, Armstrong, and One Pine. Jigs tipped with wax worms dominate the bait scene, but some folks are catching some larger sunnies on minnows intended for crappies. Walleye action is still slow, but northern pike fishermen are picking up the slack. Keep in mind that just about all lakes up here have good populations of pike, and they will readily take a minnow, dead or alive, fished right on the bottom. Ice thickness remains good with most lakes sporting sixteen to eighteen inches, and this is expected to remain throughout the recent warm-up as just the snow cover is melting. Some slush is evident during the day, but it is less than a few inches deep.
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Jim Tuller, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)
1-26-Fishing has been consistent with most fish being caught in the low light periods with morning being the best. Aggressively jigging a rattling spoon or jigging rap in brighter colors have been best or dead sticking a shiner. 18 to to 20ft rock area are producing as well as the deeper humps in Walker Bay. Pine Point, Hardwoods, and Sand Point have all been producing good walleyes as well as good numbers of perch. The best perch bite seems to be best in the 8' to 12' range.The crappie bite has also picked up with good reports coming from Shingobee Bay with small jigs and a crappie minnow. The local lakes have been producing some nice panfish in the 14' to 18' range suspended. Tungsten jigs tipped with a larva or wax worm are the ticket! Tip-up action has been good with larger suckers bringing in the best fish. Ice conditions are getting better with the colder temps after the mini heatwave!
- 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)
2-20-17 Kabetogama-Namakan-Ash River Fishing Report
WOW-quite the weather, 58 degrees, 53 degrees and high 40’s in February, weather records were shattered here near the Canadian border. Fortunately for us winter enthusiasts we still have 12” of snow base and a safe ice road as of the close of today. Land snowmobile trails are showing wear, with some bare spots. The trails on the lake are a soft ice surface, but still very useable. The ice road has a soft surface with some caution spots, most permanent houses have been removed due to conditions, although most of the lake still has 24-26” of good ice. Conditions will change throughout the week, however ice should remain safe for some time as cooler temperatures begin mid-week. Portable houses are a good option for anglers as well as tip-ups. In the past week the most consistent catch was perch, mostly jumbos followed by saugers, enough action to keep anglers happy. A few big pike were taken on tip-ups and sucker minnows and an occasional walleye showed up for anglers. Most folks fishing in 30-35’ using jigs with minnow head, or hook and full minnow. Chubs seem to be best bait choice and some days a shiner minnow fares well. No word on a crappie bite, but Spring lake weather might get the bite going. Call to check our conditions as the inland lake season for big game fish ends at the end of the month. Namakan, a Canadian border lake will remain open well into March. There is still time for a visit, Crabby 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)
2-13-Sonar units are big right now as a trend of suspended fish has started with walleyes 10-15 feet below the ice. A good bite in the main basin, combo walleyes / saugers. Working every fish is a must! The anglers working a jigging spoon with a rattle and a dead stick are doing better than a jigging rod and a tip up. Key depth 29-33 ft. Best colors continue to be glow red, pink and gold on jigging spoons tipped with minnow head or tail. Jumbo perch being caught as well in some areas depending on the day.
The Rainy River morning and evening bite has been good. Know the river or use a resort or guide for safety. The snowmobile trail is staked from Wheeler's Point to Baudette on the river. Do not deviate from trail unless you are familiar with ice conditions.
Good fishing up at the NW Angle. Best colors remain glow pink and gold. Flyers, Buckshot Rattle spoons, Rippin Raps, Pink Charmers or flutter spoons tipped with a minnow head or tail . For walleyes on MN side, morning / evening bite remains in 13-20'. Move off structure in 22-30 feet of water in the afternoon hours. Ontario, walleyes in 25' or deeper. Giant crappies in 30+ feet on small jigs/rattle spoons/plastics/minnows/wax worms. Keep crappies if fishing deeper than 25' as high mortality if released in deep water. Work through resorts and stay on ice road. Fish houses can stay on ice through March, walleyes/saugers through April 14th. Resorts and ice fishing reservations at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging. Please remember to "Keep It Clean" and remove trash from ice.
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)
1-25-Fishing has been good on Leech Lake this winter. Another winter where you can move around and cover the lake with very little effort. Jigging spoons with minnow heads are still the ticket! Good pike action as well as walleyes at dusk and dawn. Perch numbers are here but size has been hard to find! Eelpout Festival is just around the corner! After the walleye season is done then it's time to downsize your bait rigs and go after he panfish. YES, Leech has them and they are huge! Pick a weedy bay and let the hunt begin. Once you find them you will have a great day! Please practice some catch and release on some of them! Before you know it we will be talking opener - it's just around the corner! Come fish Leech Lake with us this summer!
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - (320-630-1761)
1-26- Mille Lacs walleye bite has been great on the mud, fish the edges. Reefs also good. Lot of big fish and slot fish. Try jigging spoons. Tullibie starting to bite. Platte, Sullivan, Shakopee, Anne lakes doing great on panfish. Dickies has a special for Vets during the week, ask about it! Roads are good, but check with resort owners or Bill at Lundeen's Bait Store. Dickie's has roads out to 3 mile and east side. Agate Bay has roads, anglers catching perch. Liberty Beach is reopened for food and plowed roads! Osakis north end doing well for panfish and walleye. Listen to Chris and Stan on Outdoors Adventures iHeart radio for fishing reports! Call Chris for a guided ice fishing trip or a report anytime!
- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)
Walleyes are biting in deeper water on Minnnetonka and Independence during the evening hours. Crappies are also biting on Independence. Medicine is producing panfish and northern pike in 15-20 feet.
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
1-24- I am hearing good reports on the St. Croix River Bayport area fishery this season. One of the surprising and often reported catches are nice sized saugers. The St. Croix ice bite is one where the majority of the anglers are targeting the very nice sized crappies on the Croix. Saugers and walleyes are a lucky bonus catch. I have heard that the saugers in the two pound range are showing up. Not in huge numbers but a couple here and there – enough to add to the enjoyment for sure. Fish with fatheads under a bobber just off of the bottom.
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Josh Severtson, www.smokeyhills.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
The northern lights bounce on the pine tree silhouettes in the distant night sky. A large gathering of laughing ice fishermen are shoulder to shoulder huddled around a hissing propane powered upright heater as they give each other light-hearted jabs about each other’s fishing abilities all while eating a freshly grilled Polish bratwurst. Strobe lights dance in different colors and cadences from the surrounding 100 or so accumulated Ice Castles on the frozen lake. Children playing “tag” zig-zag around the snow suit laden legs of hearty Minnesotans, Wisconsinites and oil rig workers from the nearby Dakotas. A young girl mitten-grips a plastic yellow rope as she pulls a frozen-faced toddler over near the humming Yamaha generators that are powering the night’s festivities. Joyous screams and boisterous laughter come from an Ice Castle hosting a card game. These are all things that you will see and hear at the Ice Castle get-together the weekend of the locally famous fishing derby. The Park Rapids American Legion is holding their 19th annual Ice Fishing Derby on beautiful Fish Hook Lake. The tournament is held on the first Saturday of February which lands on February 4th this coming year. With over $130,000 in prizes, there are many chances to win. Prizes include a brand-new Chevrolet pick-up truck, a 2017 Ice Castle Itasca Vacation Series fish house/rv and countless other prizes and cash prizes. The Smokey Hills crew will be on the Ice with family, friends and Ice Castle customers all weekend long. Over 100 Ice Castles are expected to be at the family friendly event! Bring your Ice Castle for a long weekend, most people will be showing up on the ice Friday, February 3rd and leaving Sunday the 5th. Call Smokey Hills Outdoor Store (218-237-5099) if you need more information! We hope to see everyone there!!
- Wheaton Service & Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)
Looking for a place for an Ice fishing trip? Wheaton Service and The Fishin Hole lodge once again this winter is offering stay and fish or spear packages starting at $159.00 per person based on groups of 4. Our houses are available to our guests 24 hrs a day! If the fish are eating at night, then you need to be able to fish them at night! After all, isn't that what you pay for! Give us a call at 320-563-1400 or wheatonservice.com. Take A Kid Fishin! Neighbor Steve, owner operator, Wheaton Service and The Fishin Hole Lodge.
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)
1-24- We got through another January warm-up mostly unscathed. Lake conditions remain surprisingly good. While we lost almost all our snow and a little ice off the top, we are still finding between 14.5 to 18 inches of ice on Lake Waconia. Last weekend there was 2-3 inches of water scattered on the low spots of ice, but now it has mostly either drained off or frozen back to the surface. Our previous road has some water on it yet and is bumpy, so we recommend going off road for now.
If you notice anything marked with lath board sticks or pine boughs, it is marking a drain hole that is more of a walking hazard, but worth avoiding with a vehicle as well. Those should heal up soon with the colder temps. We also marked a small pressure ridge between Center and North Center Reefs as well. The active spring we’ve mentioned in the past, remains open still and is marked well. All in all, we continue to be happy with the overall ice conditions. As we always say, we cannot guarantee ice and it is never 100% safe, but we continue to keep our access open for those like us who want to drive.
There are variable forecasts for snow the next day and half. Reports are saying we may get anywhere from 2 up to 8 inches. Depending on the amount of snow and potential high winds on Wednesday, if necessary we likely will not be plowing until later in the week when winds settle down.
As for fishing, it has been a very good bite for sunfish during the day on Pillsbury and Center Reefs as well as Waconia Bay. 12 to 14 feet of water has been working well. Plenty have been caught on wax worms and small jigs. Crappies have been caught in some of those same areas in the early evening. They have also been found in the deep water of Wagener’s Bay in 20 to 24 feet of water, although biting less consistent than the previous winters.
The surprise this winter has been the northern pike bite. We’ve had plenty of activity reported on tip-ups with small to medium sucker minnows. Some anglers have caught them on their panfish rods as well, using good skill to finesse them up the hole.
We have seen a nice walleye bite this winter as well. The best bite has come during the overnight hours on set-lines with shiners, but jigging with fatheads has been productive as well during the evening. A variety of sizes have been caught with several mid-to-upper-20 inch size fish, many released. Most walleye anglers are having their best success getting away from the larger groups to avoid the crowd noise.
It should be a busy, fun lake this weekend with the Midwest Vintage Snowmobile “Waconia Ride-In” event that starts Friday 1/27 and runs through Sunday 1/29/17. The Sno Jet and Kawasaki are the featured snowmobiles this year! It’s always fun watching the vintage snowmobiles from different eras parade around Lake Waconia. With cooler temps and impending snowfall, it should be a good weekend to check it out! Stop in to the marina to warm up, have a hot chocolate or coffee and shoot the breeze. See you on the lake!
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, firstname.lastname@example.org, (218-327-2312)
If you want ice, we’ve got it. This will be a good season for ice fishing opportunities on Big Winnie. With good ice conditions anglers are starting to be seen on several areas of the big lake. Northern Pike spearers have been doing well in the Third River Area and the weed beds along the south near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Thickness of ice varies, but most conditions are favorable for ATV and snowmobile travel. Six to eight inches of ice are common and safety should always be a priority. As in years past if you are chasing walleyes the humps and bars will be your best bets especially early and late in the day. Depths of 18-23 feet are prime locations and outside edges should be critical spots to fish. Spoons with a minnow head like the VMC Tumbler and Tinglers are usually my first choices fished close to the bottom and paying close attention to my electronics for a walleye to come sniffing into the bait. Perch fishing will be good on the shallower rocks on the north side and look for the crappie bite to be good on Big and Little Cutfoot. Small VMC Tubby jigs with wax worms or plastics will be good for crappies and bluegills. Keep moving until you find active fish.