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! Most 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
The extended gorgeous weather has not lead to increased fishing pressure. On many local lakes in the Leech Lake area, you are only sharing it with duck hunters. Perch have become more abundant in numbers and size. any remaining weeds are holding good numbers, while the bigger ones have been holding a bit deeper, near steeper edges. Jig and rainbow or jig and fathead work for perch. Walker Narrows, Steamboat Bay, and the flats around Goose Island are all good shallow water haunts to catch these jumbos. Walleyes are roaming and this water temp allows them to be spread out. Classic fall steep breaks are a good starting point as are any wind blown point. Don't over think things, stick to a jig and minnow to put fish in the boat. Reports have been sporadic in regards to location with some days being better in one area and the next that area isn't nearly as good. Wind blown points through the lake are still going to produce, especially if the wind has been blowing in for a couple days or more. The flats around Goose Island are still kicking out fish, and their have been good reports from the SE corner of the lake near Bear Island and Partridge Point.
- 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)
Some walleyes continue to bite and the community of followers continue to set and adjust position of their shacks to intersect the movement of eyes in both of their quests for a meal.
Most anglers are using a dead stick, suspending a minnow just off the bottom. This works very well for most folks, but the bigger fish seem to be attacking jigged baits such as Buckshot spoons and Chubby Darters further up in the water column.
Crappie action has been slow to start, but some anglers are managing to catch at least a half dozen or so, and top that off with a half dozen sunnies, you have the basic ingredients for a great dinner.
Northern pike are taking live suckers or frozen ciscoes from strategically placed tip-ups near old weed lines and submerged bars or points. Spearers too have taken a few fish up to forty-six inches in less than six feet of water. And while on the subject of shallow water, a few of the same guys spearing pike, noted a good number of walleyes stopping to investigate the decoys.
Over the weekend the lakes became a bit sloppy due to the warm temps, and rain, but there still remains a good solid foot of ice on most lakes. As always, check the ice as you go as no ice should be considered safe everywhere.
- 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)
Most of the lakes have locked in with ice throughout the area. The normal holdouts remain like Walker Bay and Ten Mile, but many of the smaller to mid sized lakes are fishable ice. Ice still varies greatly so be extremely careful when venturing out onto the slippery stuff.
Most fishermen are chasing the Walleye on the area lakes with reasonable success. Shiners and Rainbows have been the ticket under bobbers. 15'-20' are the most commonly fished depths right now. It is also an evening bite, though guys have been pulling some early biters well before sunset.
Panfish have also been good in the area on the smaller lakes. There have been a wide range of reports in regards to depth, bait, jigs, etc. The word it seems is to get out and start searching. Be prepared to switch up the jigs, bait and drill some holes, but fishing has been good, you just need to find them.
We haven't heard a ton on the pike yet, but suspect the tip-up guys will be out soon running flags. It should be a good early season for the ice if the snow holds off for a while.
- 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)
Kabetogama-Namakan Fishing Report 12-14-14 Unseasonable weather in the 40’s has been taking our snow, however, lake ice is holding on keeping fishermen happy. This past weekend was the busiest winter fishing weekend we’ve seen in the past few years. Northern pike was the primary target by most. Spearing and tip-ups did their job. This week has been kind of the start for anglers looking for perch, sauger and of course walleye. Good ice to support sleds and fish houses now allows anglers access to their walleye holes. Only common factor with anglers is 28’, ice jig and minnow. Varied reports of success, some perch, walleye and pike. Spearing has been ood for most, plenty of small pike each day or so a 12# plus gets reported up to a 44” mid 20# trophy. VNP has staked snow mobile trails throughout Kab down to Crane Lake, consequently with little snow lake travel is unlimited. Do use caution where thin ice is marked and near ice ridges. Come and Enjoy, 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)
50/50 walleye and sauger mix is the common report this week. Some perch, eel pout, and sturgeon showing up as well. From 4 Mile Bay, Lighthouse Gap, and off Pine Island anglers are fishing in 18-26 feet of water. Moving west from Graceton, Zippel Bay, Long Point, and Arnesens. 24-26 feet day bite, heading shallow 17-20 feet for the afternoons and evenings best. Hot colors are gold, bubble gum, and pink tipped with live minnow. Electronics helpful to find suspended fish. Ice conditions range from 14-17 inches of ice. Some ice roads open to full size trucks and fish houses.
On the Rainy River, locals who know ice are catching mornings and evenings. Walleyes most active in 14-17 feet. Use active presentation for best results.
Up at at the NW Angle, there is good ice 15-17". Vehicles are driving out. Good fishing in 18-22 feet. The road from Young's Bay is open to Oak Island and Flag Island. Snowmobile trails are staked from the South Shore to NW Angle with 14-15 inches of ice. For more info about Lake of the Woods, go to www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com or Facebook at Lake of the Woods Tourism.
Lake of the Woods Resorts
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)
Leech lake is almost iced over (Walker bay is always last). There's 6 to 9 inches on the main lake. People are riding 4 wheelers and using portables all over. 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
The 2014 fishing season ended fast. October was great warm weather, but for guiding and catching fish the water never cooled enough when the weather was nice, then winter crashed into Minnesota and Wisconsin, the cold and wind of November made attempts at open water fishing futile. I will now look for openings in the winter weather to allow for open water fishing down on Pool Four of the Mississippi River where it can be excellent walleye and sauger fishing, The season for walleye and sauger does not close on the Mississippi River south of Prescott, WI. I do not guide on the St. Croix in the winter for ice fishing, though I will fish some and put a few posts about it up here.
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Nathan, www.smokyhillsoutdoorstore.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
The Northwest winds have finally sent the fog migrating south with the birds; as temperatures are now on par with a regular mid-December Minnesota winter. We are back on track and making ice by the minute. The “hard water” conditions were less than desirable with the recent warm weather, but the water on the top side of the ice has now re-frozen. Fish Hook Lake has ice up to 15 inches thick while Big Sand Lake has been reported to only have 3 to 6 inches. Long Lake (east) has up to 13 inches on the South end while the North end has 6 to 9 inches. The elusive walleye are not so elusive in recent days if you are willing to beat the sunlight in the morning. A plain hook, weight, light line and rainbow minnow has been enticing big ‘eyes to bite in 7 to 12 feet at daybreak. The musky action is hot on Mantrap Lake and they are attacking very large sucker minnows in 6 to 10 feet of water. Bluegills and large perch are easiest to find and catch on Upper Bottle Lake, North of Park Rapids. Stop by the store to get your Ice Castle Fish House accessories and the most up to date Park Rapids area fishing report. We hope to see 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 did a more extensive ice check on Tuesday, 12/9, drilling and checking over 200 holes. We covered Waconia Bay, "Under the Wires", Center, Pillsbury and Wagener's Bay, as these areas are currently the most used fishing spots on the lake. It's important to know that we are always looking for the worst ice we can find, therefore the majority of our drilling is in snow-covered ice, which is generally less than the clear "black" ice.
We started in Waconia Bay, and found a lot of 8 to 10 inches, with a top-end of 12 inches in the clear, snow-less ice. Then continued on to "Under the wires" (between the south peninsula of the Lakeview Terrace and the island), where there was as little as 7 inches of ice under snow drifts and up to 11 inches of ice where there was no snow. A little north of "Under the Wires" was a small area of 4.25 to 5 inches which was the worst ice found of the day. As you continue even further north of that, the ice got very jagged (where the wind broke up chunks while the ice formed, which froze in a jagged manner creating sharp pointed edges). A lot of that jagged ice was around 6.5 to 8 inches. These locations are northwest of the island, but east of where our road usually goes to Center, which gives you reference for the future.
We then headed a little west on the way to Harms Point to the area we usually have a road, and found a lot of 8 to 10 inches with a little bit of 7 inches mixed in. From there we went north to Center Reef and had a variety of ice there as well. We could drill in one popular location and find a spot with as little as 6 inches, and 10 feet away measure a hole in clear, snow-free ice that was up to a 12 inches.
If you're sensing a theme, you are right. It didn't matter where we went today, the ice greatly varied. It's easy to get excited when you see 10 to 12 inches of ice in locations you want to get to. We are excited to see those thicknesses too, but it was clear to us today, that most areas with those thicknesses also had plenty of ice mixed in between 6.5 to 9 inches as well.
Pillsbury was much the same. There are certainly plenty of locations there that had 9 to 12 inches, but had 7 to 8 mixed in. We went from Pillsbury to the south toward the Wagener's Bay access. We drilled in several locations where snowmobiles and 4-wheelers have made tracks going to and from those locations. Where there was little-to-no snow, we found 10 to 12 inches of ice. The closer we got to the terrace, there was more drifting of snow, so as you can expect, there was a lot of 7 to 9 inches of ice (with as little as 6.25 inches found 40 feet from shore).
We are very happy we have ice that we can use to 4-wheel and snowmobile on. While it's tempting for some to want to drive your car or truck out there, we are not recommending it and won't be allowing vehicles through our access for the time being. No one wants driveable ice more than we do at the marina, but we will continue to be patient and wait for the ice to get a little thicker before we drive.
In the mean time, we'll keep you posted on the ice as the warmth of the weekend draws near. If you have a permanent fish house on the lake, it would be a good idea to keep a close eye on it this weekend.
As for the bite, it was a good weekend for northern pike fishing for those who took advantage of the mild weather. The pic of the weekend was by twins Connor and Tanner Besse who each had a nice northern and won prizes playing our FREE Ice and Dice game. Waconia Bay was a good location for some of this action. Walleyes were also decent as well. We had some keepers over 16 inches caught from the walleye hole between the marinas, as well as Waconia Bay and parts of Center. Sunfish and crappies continue to bite, although as expected, sorting needs to happen to get keepers. Pillsbury is a great go-to spot for panfish as well.
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, firstname.lastname@example.org, (218-327-2312)