Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report — March 10, 2017

LAKE MILLE LACS

The shorelines and access points are beat up and the bridges over any cracks have been pulled by resorts. With the warm and cold weather, the ice is moving and buckling so you really need to watch where you’re going with an ATV. With the bridges gone, it’s tough to get to the mud flats so call ahead before venturing out.

Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811

Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Ice depths remain 24 to 30 inches so ice fishing remains in full swing. Anglers are sorting through their walleyes and sauger in order to put together their keepers and electronics help since many of these fish are suspended over 29 to 33 feet of water. The Rainy River is open from Birchdale to the east, but shoreline ice remains and there has been a few reports of anglers pushing small boats over the ice. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes and perch are being caught on the 20- to 24- foot rock points or 29- to 30- foot mud. On the Ontario side, walleyes are biting on the humps and crappies continue to be caught in 25 feet of water or more.

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA    

Some small lakes are ice-free, others are partially open, and any ice that remains is floating and breaking up. There has been some shore fishing taking place in a few locations, but success has been limited.

Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227

LAKE VERMILION

Crappie reports have improved behind Pine Island in 20 to 22 feet of water and above the dam on the Pike River in 12 to 15 feet of water. Ice conditions are good and favorable for ATV travel.

Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Perch continue to be caught from Snaghole Bar to River Bar in 14 to 16 feet of water. You’ll also find perch in 18 to 22 feet of water off Raven’s Point or 25 to 28 feet on Zuhmer’s Bar. Travel conditions look favorable for ATVs through this weekend, but check with resorts for access availability.

Lake Winnie Resort Association

LEECH LAKE

Small jigs and wax worms under a flasher are turning tullibees over 30 feet of water off Stoney Point, Paris Trench, and in Horseshoe Bay. Perch also seem to be bunching up on the 8- to 10- foot sand grass areas of Sucker Bay, Steamboat Bay, Goose Island, the Narrows, First Duck and Second Duck points. Most shorelines have improved with the cooler weather, main lake ice is still over two feet thick and most anglers are using ATVs.

Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505

Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250

RAINY LAKE

International Falls and Ranier anglers are starting to think open water fishing on the Rainy River. Kuttes Landing near Pelland Junction has been cleared so as soon as some shelf ice is removed, small boats should be an option. Walleyes are being caught through the ice north of Crystal Beach in Sand Bay and off Birch Point in 22 to 32 feet.

International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766

RED LAKE

Ice conditions are good, but fishing pressure has been light since the walleye season closed. The few anglers going after crappies are catching fish in 10 to 12 feet, but they’ve had to do a lot of moving.

Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128

Twin Cities Metro

NORTHEAST METRO

The ice has deteriorated even more since last week with spots of open water now popping up on area lakes and shorelines pulling away. Some lakes have more open water than ice, so the ice fishing season is over here.

Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421

WEST METRO

There hasn’t been anything to report over the past week other than the ice is going out fast. Depending on the weather over the next week, many lakes could be ice-free soon.

Cabin Fever Sports (952) 443-2022

Statewide

ALEXANDRIA AREA

Crappies and sunfish are being caught in 8 to 12 feet at Lake Darling, Lake Geneva, Maple Lake, Reno Lake, and Christopherson’s Bay on Lake Ida. Most shorelines held up well through last weekend’s warm weather so most anglers are using ATVs or walking out – it depends on the access at a given lake.

Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255

ANNANDALE AREA

Most shorelines are now open far enough to prevent anglers from getting on them. Many lakes also have pockets of open water and with the wind this week, those areas likely opened even more.

Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297

BATTLE LAKE AREA

Although some access areas are getting beat up, ATV use should be an option this weekend on most lakes. Look for suspended crappies over 15 to 18 feet at West Battle Lake, Buchanan Lake, Norway Lake, and Blanche Lake. Sunfish reports have been best in 10 to 15 feet on West Battle, Buchanan, South Turtle Lake, Clitherall Lake, and Norway. Look for tullibees over 30 to 35 feet on Mollie Stark Lake, Star Lake, and Pickeral Lake.

Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596

BEMIDJI AREA

Perch action is strong on the 20- to 40- foot mud flats of Lake Bemidji or the 15- to 20- foot flats on Lake Irving. Bluegills are going on Grant Lake in 15 to 20 feet and a few crappies are coming off Grace Lake in 16 to 20 feet. It depends on the lake, but trucks are being used on some, while ATVs remain a safe bet throughout the area.

Taber’s Bait (218) 751-5781

BLACKDUCK AREA

Perch action continues to improve on Blackduck Lake and Island Lake in 6 to 10 feet or on the 20- foot mud. Bluegills are being caught on Pimushe Lake and Gull Lake in 15 to 20 feet and crappies remain active over 20 to 30 feet at Blackduck, Island, and Round Lake. Ice conditions are looking good – truck travel is expected through this weekend on most lakes.

Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA 

The north end of Gull Lake is producing tullibees and eelpout over 30 to 40 feet – look for suspended fish. Hit North Long Lake, Cullen Lake, and Nisswa Lake for sunfish in 6 to 10 feet and crappies over 15 to 20 feet. ATVs continue to be used on area lakes, just watch some of the accesses that have been heavily used.

S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League  (218) 829-7010

CASS LAKE AREA

Perch are hitting on Cass Lake and Pike Bay Lake in the 6- to 8- foot bulrushes. The east side of Pike Bay and north side of Star Island on Cass also are giving up perch in less than 6 feet. A few sunfish are hitting in 18 feet on Kitchi Lake and you’ll find crappies over the 30- foot hole on Wolf Lake. Eelpout are biting on the 18- to 20- foot humps of Cass and Pike Bay. The channels and current areas have marginal ice so watch those, but the shorelines and main lake ice are in good shape.

Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831

CROSBY AREA

Crappies and sunfish are bitting on Lake Adney in 6 to 12 feet and Black Hoof Lake in 10 to 14 feet. Crappies continue to bite during the evening hours in 30 feet or more on Clearwater Lake. For the most part, main lake ice and accesses are OK, but there are spots on certain lakes that need to be approached with caution.

Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912

DETROIT LAKES AREA

Sunfish and crappie reports have improved on Floyd Lake, Little Detroit Lake, Lake Sallie, and Height of Land Lake in 11 to 20 feet. Tullibee action has picked up over deep water on Long Lake by Vergas – look for suspended fish over 40 to 70 feet. Ice conditions remain favorable for ATV travel throughout the area.

Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248

DULUTH AREA   

Crappies continue to bite during the evenings and after dark in 15 to 20 feet at Fish Lake, Whiteface Lake, and Wolf Lake. Anglers fishing from shore or in small boats on Lake Superior are catching coho salmon and a few Kamloops. This opportunity is dictated by how strong the winds are. Most lakes still have 16 to 20 inches of ice, but some shorelines are busting up so walking or light ATVs are recommended.

Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094

EAST CENTRAL MN

The ice fishing season has ended here. Any ice that remains is black and being pushed around with the wind. The only fishing worth noting is taking place on the Mississippi River for catfish.

Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985

FAIRMONT AREA

The lakes are wide open throughout the area, which is one of the earliest ice-out situations ever seen in this area. Fishing pressure has been limited to a few walleyes being caught by shore anglers on the West De Moines River and some crappies coming from the George Lake Dam.

Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225

GRAND MARAIS AREA

Fishing reports have been limited to a few lake trout being caught at Greenwood Lake over 50 to 60 feet with minnows or frozen smelt. On Clearwater Lake, lake trout are hitting fathead minnows over 40 feet, and rainbow trout are being taken with wax worms on Mink Lake in 15 to 20 feet. With no snow, the ice is slippery, but it remains favorable for travel and fishing.

Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280

GRAND RAPIDS AREA 

Bowstring Lake is producing crappies and perch in 20 to 27 feet, while Sand Lake is kicking out crappies in 30 to 40 feet. Look to Tioga Bay on Lake Pokegama for crappies, bluegills, or perch and Jay Gould Lake is giving up perch in 9 to 11 feet. Hit Big Cutfoot Sioux, Little Cutfoot Sioux, and Big Splithand lakes for a mixed bag of panfish in 20 feet. Bass Lake continues to produce bluegills in 6 to 10 feet, lake trout are active on Canisteo Pit, and stream trout are being caught on the Tioga Pit, Kraemer Lake, and Taylor Lake. No issues with the ice in this area at all, trucks are being used.

Ben’s Bait and Tackle (218) 326-8281

HACKENSACK AREA 

With the exception of some heavy traveled areas, most accesses continue to hold up and ATVs should remain a travel option this weekend. Crappies and sunfish are being caught in 10 to 12 feet at Pleasant Lake, Webb Lake, Brockway Lake, Lindsey Lake, and in Broadwater Bay on Woman Lake.

Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176

HIBBING/CHISHOLM AREA

Ice conditions are still good enough to allow truck travel throughout the area and with cold weather this week, that shouldn’t change by the weekend. Fishing reports haven’t changed much though, which means trout are an option on the Kinney Pit and crappies can be had on McQuade Lake in 18 feet and McCormick Lake in 24 to 26 feet.

Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Bluegills are being caught on the Crow Wing Chain and Fish Hook Lake in 9 to 12 feet of water. Lake Itasca is worth looking at for bluegills as well. Look to Big Mantrap Lake for crappies during the day, most of which are suspended over 20 to 30 feet of water. Ice conditions have improved since last weekend with the return of cold weather. Most accesses are again favorable for ATV travel heading into the weekend.

Delaney’s (218) 732-4281

Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099

RED WING AREA

Although the current remained swift early this week, water levels continue to come down, and water temperatures  on the Mississippi River are about 35 degrees. Dragging a jig tipped with plastics or minnows is producing some walleyes and sauger below the dam – look for seams in the current to hold more fish. Towards the Head of the Lakes on Lake Pepin, panfish are biting in 7 to 10 feet and Pepin is now ice-free past Lake City.

Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334

RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA

The ice fishing season has pretty much ended here. Some anglers are walking on a few of the area’s small lakes, but the bigger bodies of water such as the Horseshoe Chain and Koronis are no longer safe for any type of travel.

Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Sunfish and crappies are being caught on the north end of Lake Osakis in 12 to 18 feet, but some fish also are coming out of 5 to 8 feet. The south end of Osakis is giving up crappies in 15 to 22 feet as well. Look to Fairy Lake for sunfish in 5 to 10 feet, Lilly Lake in 18 feet, and for crappies and sunfish at Maple Lake in 8 to 12 feet. On Smith Lake, sunfish are biting throughout the day in 8 feet.

Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-21556

STARBUCK AREA

The shorelines have pulled away too far on all area lakes to get on them, and there’s even some pockets of open water on some. The ice fishing season is over in the immediate area.

Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239

WINDOM/MARSHALL AREA

Any ice that remained early in the week will likely be gone by this weekend. As of Tuesday morning, most lakes were wide open, but no open water fishing had been reported.

Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880

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