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)
2-1-Otter Tail Lake is producing walleyes in 20 feet. West Battle Lake in 35 feet. Crappies and sunfish best on East Lost Lake, Clitherall Lake and Blanche Lake.
- Veire's Mini-Mart - Visit our Facebook Page
Dave, 117 E Benton St, corner of Hwy 75 and 14 (507-368-4204)
Call Dave for a report!
- Timberline Sport & Tackle
Carl Adams, Junction of Hwy 71 and Blackduck Lake Rd. (218-835-4636)
2-1-Round and Blackduck Lake are producing walleyes in 15 feet. Bluegills and crappies are biting on Pimushe, Gull and Blackduck lakes in 20 feet.
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Toby Kvalevog and Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)
2-5-The recent warm up created a better bite on most of the days this past week, but there was still some ups and downs. We are hitting the time of year where some days just seem to produce better than others.
Main Lake has not changed much since last week. There are alot of heaves out there running off of Pelican and the points so be sure to stop in and talk with resorts about the best routes to get to different places on the Lake. It is best to get that updated intel to make your day safer and more enjoyable. 17-19" is still being found on much of the Main Lake. In Walker Bay, ice is still varying. Anywhere from 11"-16" is what we are finding. There is an area over near Leaning Tree on the Cedar Shoreline that does not have as thick of ice. The rule of thumb all season is going to be to stay where things are safe, and where roads have been plowed. If you want to venture, get out of your car or truck and drill holes checking the ice constantly. Many anglers are using 4 wheelers, small trucks, and sleds to get around in the Bay also right now.
The Main Lake has slowed down some and the fish have seemed to move off of the reefs and the bite has slowed down. Fish are still being caught on the tops and edges of the reefs, but not as many of late. Instead look for transitions of gravel to sand or sand to mud. Fish are relating to these transition lines that can be found off of these reefs or shoreline breaks in 15-20ft of water.
In Walker Bay, moving around on the humps is producing fish. 28-35ft of water has been the best. Action can be really good, with the dawn and dusk bite producing the best action, as well as after dark. Some reports of big fish getting caught well after dark on rattle reels. Shoreline breaks have also produced fish in the Bay in 18-25ft of water.
Jigging spoons, glow jigs, and dead sticks are all producing fish. Be sure to have a variety of them in you arsenal as well as different kinds of bait.
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)
2-1The A-Frame area on Chisago Lake is producing crappies and sunfish. Panfish also biting on the north end of North Center Lake and Little Green Lake. Walleyes biting on South Center Lake in about 12 feet.
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)
2-1Crappies and bluegills are biting on Fish Lake. St. Louis River is producing walleyes and a few crappies. Boulder Lake is going great for walleyes.
- 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)
Fishing report 2/8/16
With the absence of deep snow cover many anglers are trekking in to some of the more out of the way small lakes both inside and outside the Boundary Waters, and meeting with moderate success. Pickerel, Stub, and Wood Lakes have been turning out some nice eating size walleyes in the sixteen to eighteen inch range, and Lake Vermillion has been producing some larger walleyes over twenty inches, but sadly, all those must be returned to the water due to size restrictions there.
The crappie bite is gradually picking up as the season progresses. East Twin, Low, One Pine and Johnson Lakes have seen the most traffic with some decent catches of ten to twelve inch slabs taken there. Birch Lake has given up some decent crappies, but travel on this lake warrants some care due to varied ice thickness. Keep in mind that this lake is actually a river with a fair amount of current moving through it, so in necked down areas around islands and choke points some ice may be unsafe. There are springs and creek discharges that may also contribute to varied ice thickness as well.
Anglers are still pulling good numbers of lake trout from Burntside and Snowbank lakes, with Burntside turning out trout on the smaller side, with many of the fish there running three to five pounds, but the action remains good. Snowbank is giving up some hefty walleyes incidental to the laker bite.
Northern pike fishermen have been doing well both by angling and spearing. Basswood Lake leads the way with pike up to forty-eight inches. Frozen smelt and ciscoes have been doing well on tip-ups, but live bait has been working well too. This is a great opportunity to catch that "fish of a lifetime" for many folks and you don't have to make that long trek in there on foot, as the area provides great dogsled outfitters willing to take you to those out of the way places.
Some caution needs to be observed whenever and wherever travelling on the ice this year, as not only do ice thicknesses vary considerably, but also great patches of slush have developed throughout the area and can bog down both snowmobiles and ATV's. It's always a good idea to check with local bait shops or anglers to gather current information on your ice fishing destinations.
- Fish On Bait & Sport www.habitatnow.com
Kyle, 201 S Franklin St, 2 blocks south of stoplights in Glenwood (320-634-3667)
1-4 - AREA LAKES WITH GOOD ICE NOW!! With the cold temps, area lakes now have good ice and fishing activity has picked up greatly. Overnight low temps should be making some good ice as well…more permanents out now and bigger sizes. It is still very early so be careful! Early ice is always a great time for walleyes on Minnewaska so I would expect to see a lot of activity over the next few weeks. Many will be heading out after the gills and crappies as well. It's a little early for giving any detailed fishing reports and ice conditions, so check with us as needed…tough not to catch fish on Minnewaska though. We will have all the favorite bait on hand as well as a full line of tackle...along with advice and destinations to try. Also stop by or email us for access and lake conditions. 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 planting "spring food plots" and habitat options right now. 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)
2-1-With the nice weather we've had since the cold blast anglers are starting to hit it hard! Mixed reports have been coming in but most are happy with the ability to get out and wet a line! Most smaller lakes are looking at around 12-16 inches of ice at this point so guys are starting to drive vehicles. As always, use common sense and be cautious. Panfish and crappies are being caught around the 10-18 foot range. Look for deeper basins for crappies and weededges for the panfish. Wax worms or crappie minnows have been the ticket. Most walleyes reports are around the 20-30 foot range. Jigging raps and jigs tipped with a fathead or shiner seem to be the most productive. Trails are groomed and in good shape so get out enjoy a ride! Like always, be safe and stay warm!
- 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)
1-31- Kabetogama-Namakan-Ash River Fishing Report
WOW, what a beautiful weekend on Kab. Lots of fishing, little villages set-up off the ice road. Snowmobiles loving the smooth lake trail, cross country skiers and even snow shoe enthusiasts. Readers, it does not get any better for winter activities.
Now let’s get to fishing- the big story is still Jumbo Perch and well above average saugers, toss in some pike, huge whitefish and of course burbot. Yes, the lake is active, and yes, I didn’t mention crappie or walleye.
Walleye bite still slow, anglers report they’ve shifted with baitfish, and cappies just not cooperating. Live bait with ballhead jigs or ice jigs doing the trick for all species.
Ice road access has been great, it puts you on fish, or access to nearby spots.
Land snowmobile trails have been groomed, however, lots of weekend traffic put the trails in a little less favorable conditions. If nature gives us a few more inches of snow our trails will upgrade to excellent.
See you soon,
Cabby 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)
2-8- Ice fishing was up and down this past week with the ever changing weather. Most houses were able to catch enough fish for a fish fry. The key is to really work those fish. Electronics help. Fishing each fish hard will put more in the bucket. A tough day for card players using two dead sticks not paying attention. Some ice roads are letting half-ton pick-ups pulling 20’ houses on the lake. 3/4 ton pick-ups are being let out with portables. Contact your resort for more specific information. Ice averages 15-19”. Fishing in 26-35’. Some houses in 10-19’ producing a few walleyes in the morning. Lots of saugers with a few slot walleyes mixed in. Glow orange and pink continues to be best. Jigging line should have a jig that makes a noise or rattles tipped with a full minnow or just the head. Plain hook or small jig on dead stick with a live minnow.
The Rainy River is iced over and being fished in spots but mainly by locals who know the ice. Evening bite in 16’ will producing a few fish. Sturgeon and eelpout mixed in with walleye. For safety, work through resorts. Safety first. Most anglers fishing the lake.
Up at the NW Angle, fishing is steady. Ice is 20-22” where resorts fish on the Minnesota side with about 8" of snow and 16” on the Ontario side. Guides are finding different species all over. Finding walleyes on or near reefs around 26’ and saugers in the mud around 32’. Jumbo perch, monster pike, and a few eelpout in the mix. Large crappies are being caught around the 33’ mark with guides on the Ontario side. Resort listings at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)
2-1-Leech Lake fishing is going great! lots of fish to be caught, walleyes are hitting jigging spoons and 1/2 minnow, at almost every depth ! if you fish deep water please reel up slow to keep the air sack in tact). Pike are hitting almost every thing, I have heard of many people getting together and working tip ups up and down the weedline with good success! Perch are abundant with lots of small 6 to 8 inchers to weed though. Crappie and sunfish are a little harder to find but worth the try with the size of them making it worth while.
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - (320-630-1761)
1-5- On Mille Lacs Dickie's has spear and fish houses out. Agate Bay has plowed roads with signs. Red Door on the south end also has houses out. Anglers are catching perch, pike and some walleyes! Panfish have been biting on Platte, Sullivan, Knife and Ann. Anglers are walking out. Listen to Outdoor Adventures Radio on Saturday mornings for fishing reports! Call Chris anytime for an update! Make sure to check with area resorts before heading out.
MILLE LACS, AITKIN, BRAINERD LAKES
- Jeff Hanson's Guide Service
Call or text with questions, 763-477-8553.
- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)
2-1-On Minnetonka, northern pike are biting in 20 feet and crappies in 25 feet. Medicine Lake best for sunfish and pike. Lake Independence is producing walleyes and crappies over on glow jigs and minnows during the evening.
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
2-1-I have been enjoying some good ice fishing over here in Wisconsin while walking on to the lakes and fishing out of the portable shack. Ice has ranged from 6 to 10″ on the lakes I have been on. You likely know this but I will repeat it 12″ is the minimum recommended ice thickness by DNR agencies for drive on. I have enjoyed this late forming ice because the fish are still in a December pattern and active even in mid January. Plus the no driving on the ice is a bonus. A bonus because it is more peaceful without all the trucks on the ice, and a bonus because I believe the fish are less spooked by the cars going across the ice. I have been getting half my fish on little wax worms (spikes) and the other half soft plastics. Panfish plastics. They have some killer baits in the year 2016. Having two rods ready a livebait and a plastic lure is a nice mix it up combo that I feel helps keep fish near you spot and not leave. I mix up presentation quickly to keep the fish interested . I do this mix up when the slow. If they are on and biting I stick with what is working.
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Nathan, Josh, www.smokeyhills.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
2-1-With winter finally showing up in our back yard a lot of bigger castles are making it out onto most of the area lakes! Even with the frigid cold this past week ice conditions still vary from lake to lake going anywhere from 6 to 14 inches of ice. The following ice reports from lakes in the Park Rapids area: Red lake (JR’S Corner)- 13 to 16 inches of ice across most of the lake. 8x16 and smaller can go out with vehicle. 8x21 or bigger must go out with wheeler. Finding a few walleyes in 11-13’ of water. Wheelers point (LOTW)- 10 to 14 inches across most of the lake. Catching more walleye then sauger in about 18-22 feet of water. Springsteel Resort and Marina (LOTW)- 10-15 inches that varies. Catching a few more walleyes then sauger in about 21-24 feet of water.
- Fishhook 10”-13”
- Crow Wing Chains 8”-10”
- Long Lake 6”-10”
- Potato Lake 4”-8”
- Big Mantrap Lake 6”-10”
- Twin Lakes 8”-12”
Walleye- Moving deeper the previous weeks into about 14 to 18 feet of water. Most anglers are jigging the Bemidji made Kenkatch “Boss Jig” Tipped with the head of a shiner or rainbow minnow for best luck.
Northern Pike- Swimming through the thicker weed beds and growth looking for cover to ambush prey. Look for about 6 to 12 feet of water and tie on a quick strike rig paired with a bigger sucker minnow for best chances on hooking a wall hanger!
Crappie/Sunfish- Around that 12 to 16 feet of water around standing structure. Tie on a VMC “Tungsten Tubby” Or Lindy “Tungsten Toad” Paired with either a crappie minnow, waxy, or euro larva for your best chances on filling up the bucket.
- Wheaton Service & Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400)
1-4- People are starting to get out and about on Lake Traverse! Mother Nature has been slow on the ice making. The walleye bite has been outstanding, and the spearing has been very good so far. No monster pike taken, but that can change quick. Stop in the bait shop for the best bait in town and a tip or two. Wheaton Service has stay and spear packages as well as fishing packages. Stay in the comfort of our Fishing Hole Lodge. We are also the builder of our Fishing Hole Lodge skid houses. Lite weight,all aluminum. Give us a call 320-563-1400, visit www.wheatonservice.com or check out our Facebook page! Take a Kid Fishin!
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)
2-1-I went out to get an ice update this afternoon. I headed out on the ATV and drilled about 80 holes or so. First I checked “under the wires” and was still breaking through and finding slush under a crust of ice in some areas. In those spots I am now finding 5.5” – 6” of ice. Where there isn’t slush 7” to 14” of ice, depending on how much snow there is where I drilled. I headed out to Center reef and didn’t find slush, but found more 7” – 14” of ice, again depending on the snow cover. I drilled many holes on my way to Pillsbury Reef, continued to the Wagner’s Bay access, went back around the point and headed towards the Marina. I found 7” – 14” of Ice that whole stretch as well. When I came around the point towards “Under the Wires” again, I stayed closer to shore on the snowmobile paths. I broke through about a 1” skim of slush ice into liquid slush in that area also. The ice under those few areas was about 6” thick. Overall conditions are improving in this cold. We are going to continue to recommend ATV or snowmobile traffic at the most for the time being. Thanks for reading.
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, firstname.lastname@example.org, (218-327-2312)
1-4- Do we have ice you ask? You bet. Most areas of Big Winnie have anywhere from 8-11 inches of ice, but safety is a must. ATV and snowmobile traffic is still advised and the walleye fishing has been excellent. Early and late in the day has been best on the off-shore humps and tips of the main bars. Depths of 20-25 feet have been the most consistent areas. Vmc’s Flash Champ and Tingler spoons have been best with a minnow head. I like to fish a second line with a plain hook and a shiner for the “pretenders”. Drill several holes in the area you intend to fish and move frequently until you contact fish. Northern pike have been bonus fish and the Third River area has been very good this season for nice pike. Crappie and bluegills have been good with Big Cutfoot your best choice. The holes adjacent to the big island near Williams Narrows has been a good area to start fishing.