LAKE MILLE LACS
East - Last week’s snow has limited travel on the lake and there aren’t a lot of roads being opened. Anglers on snowmobiles are traveling to the mud and Tullibee Hole and finding suspended tullibees over 30 feet. Perch continue to be scattered on the rock/mud transition areas, but the bigger fish have been scarce this week.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
West - There hasn’t been a lot of people fishing since 10 to 15 inches of snow arrived last week. A few have gone out on snowmobiles, which is the best mode of transportation at this point, and found decent numbers of tullibees off the mud flats in 30 to 35 feet. For perch, you’ll find bigger fish off the mud in 30 feet or more and more numbers, but not as many keepers on the 20- to 28-foot rocks.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Anglers need to practice more patience for their walleye and sauger limits, but they continue to catch fish in 26 to 32 feet. One key this week has been to constantly switch spoons and jigs throughout the day. The report from the Northwest Angle indicates a bit more consistency with numbers of fish being caught on colored-glow spoons in 28 to 34 feet.
Perch action has been slow and the fish being caught are scattered from six to 14 feet. Best bet is to stay mobile, picking off a few good-sized perch from the usual spots such as Pine Point, Sand Point, and the Hardwoods areas. A few tullibee reports have started coming in from the deep water off Stoney Point. But there’s a pressure ridge to deal with so you have to go off Pine Point to get at them.
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
There just hasn’t been enough people fishing to get a handle on the bite. There’s too much snow on the lakes for ATV travel and it sounds as if most anglers don’t want to walk through it, either. The few that have looked for panfish are reporting very little activity throughout the area.
Pike are hitting suckers and ciscoes in eight to 10 feet at Rainy Lake City. The east end of Dryweed Island is kicking out walleyes in 40 to 45 feet and the reefs east of the Brule are producing walleyes in 36 to 38 feet. Sand Bay is worth hitting for walleyes during the evening hours in 30 to 32 feet. Jigging spoons continue to work best for walleyes in all areas.
Bigger perch have started biting off Raven’s Point, the Bird Houses area, Sugar Bar, Sugar Point, and Zoomer’s Bar in 10 to 14 feet. The guys who stay mobile are catching better numbers of 11-inch perch. Most are hitting jigging spoons and minnow heads.
Crappies continue to hit minnows and small spoons on the Wisconsin side of the St. Croix River in 30 feet or more. On White Bear Lake, you’ll find crappies in 15 feet out from the Belle Air Beach area. Look to the north end of Big Marine Lake for crappies during the evening in 15 to 17 feet. Sunfish action remains slow.
There hasn’t been much fishing pressure in the immediate area over the past week. The only panfish action worth noting is taking place just south of the Victoria area where anglers are finding sunfish and a few crappies in 18 to 20 feet at Cedar Lake and Prior Lake.
Crappies and sunfish are hitting at Lake Mary, Lake Geneva, and Lake Darling in eight to 12 feet – look for better crappie action during low-light periods. On Lake Miltona, anglers are catching keeping-sized perch in 12 to 15 feet on glow hooks or spoons tipped with minnows.
Panfish action has been sporadic at best and it sounds as if anglers are catching fish on several lakes, but not a lot of numbers from any. Lakes such as French, Francis, Granite, John, Pleasant, Indian, Marie, and Clearwater are all giving up some sunfish and crappies in 10 to 30 feet. Generally, look for the sunfish shallower and the crappies suspended over 25 to 30 feet with better activity early and late.
Look for suspended crappies and sunfish on lakes such as West Battle, Stalker, East Battle, and Star in 17 to 28 feet – minnows and waxies are both working. Perch continue to hit jigs and fathead minnows at West Battle and Otter Tail Lake in eight to 17 feet. Anglers on Mollie Stark Lake, Pickeral Lake, and Lake Lida are finding suspended tullibees over 30 feet with waxworms.
Perch action is good on Lake Bemidji with minnows and waxworms. The north-end rock piles, Diamond Point, and Cameron Acess areas are all producing perch in 25 to 35 feet. The west side of Lake Plantagenet also is giving up perch, out from the Girl’s Camp in 20 to 25 feet. On Hennepin Lake, you’ll find sunfish in 20 feet and crappies suspended over 30 feet. Look to the west side of Balm Lake for suspended crappies in 35 feet.
Blackduck Lake continues to produce perch in six to 10 feet via jigging spoons and minnow heads. On Island Lake, minnows and waxworms are turning perch in six to 10 feet or as deep as 25 feet. Look to Gull Lake, Pimushe Lake, and Rabideau Lake for crappies and bluegills in 20 to 23 feet.
Crappie reports have been limited, but sunfish have continued to bite this week. Look for them in six to 10 feet on Nisswa Lake, Round Lake, and Cullen Lake throughout the day. Perch remain active in 18 to 20 feet on the south end and Highway 371 access area of Gull. Small minnows and waxworms are both producing perch.
CASS LAKE AREA
Crappie action has picked up in 30 to 32 feet in Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake and Kitchi Lake. Grace Lake is producing bluegills in five to seven feet, while the west shore of Big Lake is kicking out a mixed bag of panfish. Pike Bay Lake is the best perch option, but the fish have moved shallower into five to 10 feet.
Walking or ATV travel is recommended on area lakes. Crappies are hitting minnows at Kroon Lake during the afternoon until dark in 25 to 30 feet. On Chisago Lake, you’ll find crappies in 24 to 28 feet and sunfish near the A-Frame in shallower water. North Center Lake is producing a mixed bag of panfish in 18 to 22 feet and North Lindstrom Lake is giving up sunfish on the six- to eight-foot weeds.
Orange or chartreuse jigs tipped with waxworms are producing sunfish and crappies in nine to 26 feet at Little Black Hoof Lake, Black Bear Lake, and Milford Lake during the day. You’ll also hit crappies during the day at Upper Dean Lake in 14 to 17 feet and Little Rabbit Lake is producing sunfish and perch. For evening crappie action, hit Crooked Lake or Bay Lake with minnows in 17 to 20 feet.
Look for suspended crappies over 20 feet and sunfish in 10 to 14 feet at lakes Melissa, Height of Land, Severson, and Big Detroit. Tullibee action is improving with waxworms producing fish over the deep holes of Long Lake. On Tamarack Lake, you’ll catch a mixed bag of sunfish and crappies in 12 to 14 feet.
This area received nearly two feet of snow over the past week, putting a quick end to most ice-fishing options. The few anglers who have gone out report slush and difficult travel conditions. There has been some open-water fishing at the mouth of the French River on Lake Superior. Anglers are fishing from shore with crawlers and spawn bags and catching a few Kamloops and coho salmon.
GRAND MARAIS AREA
There is quite a bit of slush to deal with on most lakes due to last week’s snow, but lake trout continue to hit spoons, jigs, and ciscoes at Daniels Lake in 35 to 50 feet, at Loon Lake in 55 to 65 feet, Lake Saganaga in 40 to 55 feet, and at Pine Lake in 55 to 60 feet. Waxworms are producing splake at Musquash Lake in 12 to 15 feet, while Shoe Lake is giving up splake and brook trout on waxies in six to 17 feet. Splake and rainbows can be had at Esther Lake in 10 to 14 feet and Rose Lake is a safe bet for rainbows in 15 to 20 feet.
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
Bowstring Lake is kicking out crappies during the evening and perch during the day in 24 to 26 feet and you’ll hit bluegills here in 10 feet or less. On Big Cutfoot Sioux Lake, crappies are biting in 30 feet, as are bluegills in 18 to 22 feet. Little Cutfoot is producing bluegills in 20 feet, as is Bass Lake in six to 16 feet. Look to Round Lake for perch in nine to 16 feet, to Lake Pokegama for crappies and bluegills in 13 to 35 feet, and to Big and Little Splithand lakes for panfish in 19 to 21 feet.
Crappies and sunfish have started hitting in Lantern Bay on Woman Lake over 16 to 20 feet. Birch Lake is giving panfish early and late in the day in 12 to 17 feet. Pleasant Lake is producing a few panfish over 12 feet, while Lundstrum Bay on Ten Mile Lake continues to produce sunfish in shallow water.
LAKE KABETOGAMA AREA
Border lakes like Namakan and Sandpoint have been best for walleyes and pike. Look for the walleyes as deep as 35 feet, while most of the pike are coming from the shallower bays or shallow water adjacent to them. The crappie bite has been slow to develop.
Waxworms are producing tullibees at Big Sandy Lake, most of which are suspended over 20 to 25 feet. Sunfish are active on the weed edges of Lake Minnewawa and Big Sandy. Look for crappies to be suspended and most active during low-light periods over 20 feet on Big Sandy and Minnewawa.
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Crappies are hitting all day on Big Mantrap Lake in 28 to 30 feet. You’ll also find crappies suspended over 25 feet on the Crow Wing Chain of Lakes and Lake Belle Taine during low-light periods. The Mill Pond area of Straight Lake and the Crow Wing Chain are producing bluegills in 12 to 14 feet.
Look for suspended crappies at Big Pine Lake in 32 to 40 feet and at Rush Lake over 20 feet. Bluegills are hitting in eight feet at Rice Lake, Rush Lake, and Dead Lake. Waxworms are producing tullibees over deep holes of Little Pine Lake, Long Lake, and Sybil Lake.
PINE CITY AREA
Snowmobile travel is best. The north end of Cross Lake is producing sunfish in 12 to 15 feet and crappies in 18 to 22 feet. On Lake Pokegama, you’ll find crappies on the northwest side in 18 to 24 feet and sunfish on the west side in 10 to 12 feet. Hit Knife Lake during the evening for crappies in 11 feet.
Only a few fishermen are chasing perch in 12 to 15 feet. Crappies have been tough to find with a few coming off the 15-foot mud flats. Only a couple of accesses remain open.
ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA
You’ll find crappies over 20 feet on Lake Koronis and sunfish at Rice Lake in 10 to 12 feet. Eden Lake and Clear Lake are giving up crappies and sunfish in eight to 12 feet, while Becker Lake is producing sunfish in six to eight feet.
SAUK CENTRE AREA
Sunfish and crappies are hitting on the northwest corner of Smith Lake and Lake Osakis is giving up sunfish and crappies early in the morning in 18 to 20 feet. Look for crappies in Hennington Bay on Fairy Lake in 20 feet and on Long Bridge Lake in 17 feet. Red Barn Bay on Big Sauk Lake is producing evening crappies in 23 to 25 feet.
Diamond Lake is producing crappies, sunfish, and perch in 10 to 18 feet. On lakes Florida, Andrew, Nest, and Games a few crappies and sunfish can be had on the 12- to 18-foot weedlines. Look to the northwest end of Green Lake for suspended crappies over deep water during low-light periods.