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)
- Veire's Mini-Mart - Visit our Facebook Page
Dave, 117 E Benton St, corner of Hwy 75 and 14 (507-368-4204)
- Timberline Sport & Tackle
Carl Adams, Junction of Hwy 71 and Blackduck Lake Rd. (218-835-4636)
Walleyes biting on Blackduck, call or stop in for details! Anglers are heading to Red Lake with the hot bite going on right now.
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Toby Kvalevog and Jeff Andersen, 1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665
Well it seems the cold snap has finally left us and hopefully that means the fishing gets back to being more consistent. That has been the report of late, some good days and some bad ones, especially when fishing walleyes. On the main lake, there has been good reports of a good number of walleyes being caught after dark, throughout the lake. The area off of Pine and Stoney Points has been productive as well as the Trench. The South End of the main lake is still showing some consistency on the Reefs. The rock reefs off of Pelican Island have been good as well as the reefs near Trappers Landing. Best thing to do at this point is get away from the crowd and look for areas such as other reefs, smaller rock piles, or sand/gravel transition areas and see if you can find some new and fresh ice to fish.
In Walker Bay it has been a mixed bag of walleyes, with many of them running on the smaller side. Hump hopping is your best bet, and it seems like 25-32ft of water has been the best producer for numbers. You may have to do some sorting, but the action can be good at times. Shoreline breaks and points are also producing fish, and in some instances nicer fish. The key with the shoreline breaks and fishing shallower, such as 8-15ft of water is to be set up and ready for that peak bite, too much noise can hurt your chances.
UV Buckshot spoons and flutter style spoons have been the best presentations of late and somedays a simple deadstick rod will outproduce with the spoons calling the fish in.
Have not heard much for a perch report, but that will start to change as fisherman start transitioning to that. The panfish bite in the Leech area has been great. Find a lake that doesn't get much pressure and you can really be rewarded. Do some research ahead of time using the DNR Lake Finder and Survey results to see what the lake has in it. Tungsten jigs with a plastic or euro larvae is a great presentation to start with or upsize to a small jigging spoons and you will catch both gills and crappies. Gills are still relating to weed edges and flats in 8-14ft of water and the crappies in many places are still holding near those same areas, but don't forget to fish the deeper holes that are adjacent to these weed flats or points.
Remember to be safe and use caution when on the ice. Last weekend a couple trucks went through near Sand Point. Stay away from the pressure ridge that is up that way, stay away!
Leisure Outdoor Adventures
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)
- 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)
Trout season rolled out with a bang this week. A good many anglers connected with lake trout on Snowbank and Burntside this past weekend. Ciscoes fished on the bottom coupled with active jigging of white tube jigs and Chubby and Lindy Darters brought most folks the success that was anticipated. Trout up to twelve pounds were reported, with many in the three to seven pound range brought through the holes. Rainbow, brook, brown trout and splake also responded well to small spoons and ice flies tipped with either a salted minnow or wax worms.
Northern pike were also being taken using sucker minnows both as decoys for spearing, and live bait rigs suspended under a dead stick or tip up.
Crappies too were being targeted on Fall, Birch, and Twin Lakes. These fish responded to live minnows, as well as tiny jigs tipped with minnows, wax worms, and artificial soft bait tails.
With weather being as moderate as it is of late, there should be no reason not to get out and enjoy this cold weather activity, and put some fresh fish on the table.
Some folks have given up on the slow bite of walleye fishing, and it could be due to the sub-zero temperatures, or the anticipation of trout opener outside the Boundary Waters on Saturday, January 17th. The weather is going to be mild with temps in the mid 20s, and the lakes are sporting 16 or more inches of ice. This will bring anglers from all over Minnesota and the surrounding states. Crappie fishing has been steadily picking up and should prove to continue this trend through ice out.
- Fish On Bait & Sport www.habitatnow.com
Kyle, 201 S Franklin St, 2 blocks south of stoplights in Glenwood (320-634-3667)
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Jim Tuller, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)
As expected, this warmer weather has really improved fishing across the area. We have been hearing many more reports from Leech Lake and other area lakes. Walleye had turned on some in the last couple days, though they aren't going crazy. We seemed to go from 1-2 fish nights to 3-6 fish nights. We've been seing most action on smaller rainbows under smaller forage minnows and buckshot spoons, and we have also done very well on finesse bobber setups with big rainbows or shiners on them. On Leech, 10'-15' seems to produce the best, but we have heard some shallower reports.
Along with the warm weather we have been getting some reports of decent perch action on some areas across Leech. Reports came in from Walker Bay, Agency, Pine Point and Stony Point. Nobody is slamming them, but it has been doable to go out and find a few jumbos if you have the itch! Seems like there are always a handful of smaller walleye mixed in too.
Panfish in the area have been slow to get going. Some fishermen have found some holes that are producing, but for the most part things have been pretty up and down. The bigger sunfish seem to be deeper, now holding off the outside weedline. The bite windows are very noticeable because they go from cold to hot in the flip of a switch. The guys doing the best are the fishermen putting in the most time.
The winter trout season opened up on Saturday, and it sounded like our area trout lakes so their share of pressure. Fishing was pretty slow, but they managed to find some fish. It will be interesting to see how the fishing progresses throughout the season here as we have never been able to chase them in the winter up here in Cass County.
- 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)
Winter has made its presence known, 12 inches new snow and sub-zero temperatures.
The season we expect and cherish for our tourism trade is here. We can proudly announce we have great ice for fishing and snowmobile trails. We expect the ice road from Kabetogama to Ash River to be prepared and plowed this next week, giving good access to anglers to reach fishing spots.
Anglers have had pretty good success this past week, a fairly steady bite by jumbo perch has been a pleasant surprise. Walleye and sauger continue to provide action by anglers using jig and minnow at 30-35’.
Northern pike being taken by line and spear in shallower water, especially in bays providing weed growth holding bait fish.
All sports enthusiasts should use caution near or around pressure ridges when traveling on the lake. Snowmobile lake trails are staked and I noticed today some if not most the land trails have been groomed.
Come on up for a visit – we are ready for you now,
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)
From the south shore, in front of Pine Island, best reports from anglers headed out 15 miles or more to clearer water. Combo of walleyes and saugers. Others headed up to structure such as Knight and Bridges or Garden Island and catching as well. From Morris Point area to Zippel Bay, decent bite in a bit shallower, 17 - 28'. Morning / evening bite in 15 - 18'. Long Point and Arnesen's still producing with reefs most consistent.
Up at the NW Angle, overall, good fishing continues on the edge of structure in 25 - 28'. Gold and glow red still consistent. A mixed bag, with more walleyes than saugers. Some jumbo perch, pike and eelpout mixed in. Big crappies still going on Canadian side through NW Angle resort guide services. For info on renting a fish house and lodging, go to www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/lodging. For last minute reservations, try our lodging availability request.
On the Rainy River, frozen shiners in 16' with orange or chartreuse has been the go to. Please work through outfitters and bait shops and know where you are going on ice.
Combo of walleyes and saugers coming in off of the south shore. Clearer waters have allowed some anglers to catch in 21-24 feet in the mud off Pine Island and Morris Point. Others are making the venture to deep water 30+ feet 25 miles past Pine near Garden Island and Knight and Bridges Islands. Some finding fish in shallow 13-15 feet low light. Hot colors have been pink, gold, chartreuse, or plain hook 4-6" off bottom. A nice mix of perch and eel pout have been showing up in limits. Pike anglers doing well 8-10 feet using red, orange, or gold.
On the Rainy River, anglers catching limits 14-17 feet. Glass eyes, pink, hammered gold the hot colors. From the river to the lake, the ice depth averages 22 inches with at least 8 inches of snow coverage in most areas good for snowmobiles.
Up at the NW Angle, 27-29 feet on the south side of Oak Island has been filling limits of walleye, sauger, and perch over the sand. Quality trophy walleye shallower 18-22 over the rocks. Gold and pink the best. Lots of crappie action in Ontario waters 32-34 feet. Light bite so coaxing off bottom best using red gulp on hot pink tungsten jigs. Don't be afraid to hole hop. For short term reservations, use lodging availability request at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com.
Lake of the Woods Resorts
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)
Spoon type jigs work the best! Always check with local bait shops to find the spot and the color that is working the best this week. Leech has it all to offer without the extra travel time, come give it a try! And like always it's never too early to be looking at open water opener - so get the guys locked in and book something for 2015!
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - www.kuduksguideservice.com (320-630-1761)
Anglers are fishing out in the bays on Mille Lacs. Check with local resort owners for ice reports. Platte, Sullivan, Shakopee and Knife producing some panfish. For up to the minute reports give Chris a call!
- Jeff Hanson's Guide Service
- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)
Call us for a current report!
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
Scouted and guided down on Pool Four last weekend. I found one good, but little area that had a lot of saugers in it. Move to far off of it and no bites. There was plenty of sorting through runt sized fish, but every third to fourth hooked fish was a keeper sized sauger up to 17.5″. Then spend enough time there and you would have more than enough sauger to serve a very very fine holiday dinner.
I did try numerous times to find that second consistent spot, but all “my” other spots were slow, and though I did think there were walleye there, it was hard going through and fishing it heavily enough to produce the bites.
Walleyes can be had right now at night. It is not uncommon to find the walleyes with a daytime lock jaw to bite strong at night.
The weather now has hit hard and winter was returned, I need the temperatures to be in the low 30s to make the open water walleye and sauger bite fun for all participating in the fishing trip. So these trips are weather forecast dependent.
We did best on jigs and minnow and plain hook and minnows. Plastics were absolutely being refused.
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Nathan, www.smokyhillsoutdoorstore.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
Ice is getter safer by the minute. Fish Hook Lake now has up to 21” of good, clear ice. Long Lake east has up to 24” of ice although the access at the north end has an ice heave making it impassable for vehicle travel, the access at the south end is clear and safe for travel. Walleyes have been feeding most heavily from 3 to 6pm. Jig a glow in the dark KenKatch™ Tackle “Slim Slam” to get their attention. We now have shiner minnows at Smokey Hills and they have been the key to turn fishing into catching this week. The crappie bite has improved and we are seeing great results on VMC™ tungsten jigs tipped with a wax worm. Head to 14 to 25 feet of water after dark to get a few for the frying pan. It’s not too late to order your Ice Castle for the upcoming winter festivals! Stop by the store for the most up to date fishing and ice reports. We look forward to seeing you very soon!
- Wheaton Service & Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)
Fishing on both Big Stone Lake and Lake Traverse is off to a good start ! Perch on Big Stone are hot and the early ice Walleye on Traverse are HOT. It's a long ice season, so respect the ice, we like having you around. Don't know where to go? Don't have a house? Need a place to stay? The Fish'in Hole Lodge and Wheaton Service teamed up to offer lodging and day house fishing packages on both lakes. With new track machine just in, no dates will be cancelled due to snow! We will fish every day. Visit wheatonservice.com or call 320 563-1400 for info. Good luck and Take a kid Fish'in.
Ice is on the lakes and soon will be safe for fishing! Big Stone Lake is sure to be the destination for Perch fisherpersons everywhere! OF course, Lake Traverse is always a great lake for walleye and world class Blue Gills. New to Wheaton Service this year is DAY HOUSE RENTALS on BIG STONE LAKE for Perch! BAIT,POLES,HOLES DRILLED,and HEAT ON, and house will be on the fish! 2 people to 16 people, no group to big. Wheaton service has now opened THE FISH'IN HOLE LODGE for your year around lodging needs! (meal plans available) Wheaton Service is western Minnesotas Aluma Lite fish house dealer! Like us on Facebook. Neighbor Steve, owner Wheaton Service and The Fish'in Hole Lodge. PLEASE BE SAFE ON THIS EARLY ICE AND Take a Kid Fish'in!
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)
We went out today to check on Lake Waconia ice conditions. We are very happy with what we found. We headed out to the areas we have been keeping track of all season that have lesser ice. The least ice we are finding now is 11" and 12", these thicknesses are VERY rare. Much of the lake has 14-16" of good solid ice. The plowed roads and most areas that have minimal or no snow will have 16"-18" of ice. We are very happy with the ice conditions on Lake Waconia. At this point we will not be doing any more ice updates, because we feel we are past the point of needing them. If for any reason conditions change for the worse, you can expect an update here. We'll see you on the lake!
It's time to get on Lake Waconia, as the ice is in excellent shape. We have a nice plowed road from the marina that goes past Waconia Bay, "Under the Wires", Center Reef and to Pillsbury Reef. Ice thicknesses in those areas are 12 to 16 inches! That is where the majority of the activity is on the lake, and it's easiest to travel off road to get on your spot. If you want to get away from the larger groups of fish houses and try other areas on the lake, you'll find good ice, but not as thick as the areas on the western part of the lake. You can find ice varying from 9 to 14 inches by Kegs, North, Reds, Cemetery and Anderson's Reefs. If it's easier to visualize on a map, stop in to the marina, and we'll show you what we're talking about. Keep in mind, we don't always plow roads to the areas that have light traffic.
The bite for panfish has been excellent. There has been a lot of good sunfish action on waxies and larva during the day between 10 to 14 feet of water on Center and Pillsbury. Crappies have been biting well on crappie minnows there too during the day, but with the best action late afternoon into the early evening. Some of the best crappie activity has been in the deeper water of Wagener's Bay (south of Pillsbury). Angler's have been pleasantly surprised with lots of bites suspended 6 to 10 feet off the bottom in 18 to 25 feet of water. Walleyes have also been biting in the evening or early morning on Center Reef. Fatheads have been working well in 12 to 15 feet of water. Keep in mind, Lake Waconia walleyes must be at least 16 inches to keep.
We're in the full swing of Fish House rental season! We've got our fish houses out on Center Reef in 11 to 15 feet of water, and on the eastern part of Wagener's Bay (south of Pillsbury) in 18 to 19 feet of water. If you're interested in getting in on some good ice fishing action, give us a call at (952) 442-2096 to reserve!
Don't forget to weigh in your Lake Waconia fish to have your picture taken, and to potentially qualify for our FREE Ice and Dice prize giveaway! We are looking forward to seeing your big catch!
We'll see you on the lake!
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, firstname.lastname@example.org, (218-327-2312)