Best producers of perch have been Gull, North Long, and Round lakes. Use a rattle spoon tipped with a fathead or small shiner in 20 to 24 feet of water. The Cullen Lakes chain, Upper Gull Lake, Nisswa Lake, North Long Lake, and the bays of Booming Out and Wilson on Gull Lake have been putting out crappies and sunnies. Glow jigs tipped with Eurolarvae or waxies and dropped in 8 to 16 feet of water have worked best.
Crappies have been actively attacking small ice jigs tipped with minnows or waxies. Ice conditions are good, but slippery.
The bigger perch have been hitting in 7 to 20 feet of water. Anglers are finding the bigger females to be much more active in recent days. Bowen's Flat and Center Bar have been two of the better areas. Jigs tipped with minnows have worked best.
In the north, anglers looking to catch jumbo perch should head to three specific areas; Sugar Point, the south end of Traders Bay and Sucker Bay. The most productive depths, at least for bigger perch, has been 13 to 18 feet of water. The deeper water off Stony Point has started producing a fair number of tullibees. There seems to be a window of real good activity during the mid-morning hours.
In the south, the ice is in good shape here and the perch are biting. Look to the Hardwoods area in 12 feet of water for the bigger perch. You'll find a few tullibees mixed in with the perch at these depths. Look for more numbers of tullibees in deeper water off Ottertail Point.
In the east, as always, caution should be used on Mille Lacs. The shallow water areas and old road banks need to be watched. The main lake ice conditions are in excellent shape. Perch action has been a slam for many anglers and a miss for others. The best bite has been at the main lake basin areas in 25 to 35 feet of water. The best perch numbers have come from areas with very little structure. The anglers catching the majority of bigger perch are drilling a lot of holes and constantly moving.
In the west, the perch bite has been best off the rock points in 20 to 25 feet of water. The mud areas have produced perch as well in 24 to 29 feet of water. Smaller jigging spoons have worked best, but plain hooks tipped with minnows have produced perch as well.
Little Sugar Lake, Big Splithand and Little Splithand Lake are still safe bets for crappies. Blue Lake has kicked out good sized bluegills and crappies again this week. Bluewater Lake is still providing steady lake trout action.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Along the south shore, anglers are hitting walleyes in 24 feet, or 30 to 32 feet of water. White, gold, silver or chartreuse jigs and shiner minnows have worked best. In the Pine Island area, walleyes are being caught in 25 feet of water. At the NW Angle/Islands area, walleyes and some decent sized sauger are coming from 28 feet of water on Swedish Pimples. There have been enough good sized perch caught here to keep things interesting as well.
Crow Wing Lake is kicking out sunfish in 9 feet of water. The best crappie reports are coming from 20 feet of water on Big Mantrap Lake.
Birch Point on Rainy Lake is producing walleyes in 30 feet of water. Look to the American Narrows for walleyes as well. Jigging spoons have produced fish more consistently. Northern pike are hitting at the Rainy Lake City area. On the Rainy River, anglers aren't finding a lot of walleyes but what they're catching has been big. The best area in recent days has been the Manitou Rapids.
Upper Red Lake is still producing numbers of crappies after dark in 14 feet of water. The size of the fish is improving as the season progresses. The north cribs are also beginning to produce a few fish. The whitefish action is slow but there are fish being caught.
There are a few sunfish coming off Grand and Pearl lakes, although you have to sort through some smaller fish. The crappie bite continues to be very good on Schnieder Lake, Long Lake and Cedar Island Lake. These fish have been suspended over 20 feet of water. Schnieder Lake has started giving up some good sized sunfish in 10 to 16 feet of water.
In the central metro, the open water of the Mississippi River is kicking out a lot of walleyes. Look to the Minnehaha Creek area as one of the better areas. On the Minneapolis side, the Veterans Home Wall area has also produced walleyes on jigs and minnows. The metro area panfish bite has been very limited. The lack of good ice has been the main reason.
In the northeast metro, the crappie bite has picked up on lakes such as Little and Jarvis in 10 to 12 feet of water. Low light periods of the day have produced bigger fish. Sunfish action has been slower. Look to Forest Lake and Bald Eagle Lake for the best sunfish action.
In the northwest metro, look to lakes Buffalo, Rock, Beebe and Constance for consistent crappie activity. Buffalo Lake continues to provide good sized sunfish. Rock Lake has started giving up a few sunfish as well. These fish have been caught on small jigs and larvae in 10 to 15 feet of water.
In the southwest metro, look for some decent crappie action on Lake Parley and Lake Waconia. Depths have really varied on these lakes but the one constant has been that these fish remain suspended. The sunfish bite continues to be slow on most lakes in the area.
On Lake Minnetonka, the south side of Maxwell Bay is producing sunfish and crappies in 13 feet. Look to Black Lake for panfish in 10 feet of water. Lake Sarah is a safe bet for suspended crappies over 40 feet of water. Small jigs tipped with larvae or wax worms have worked best.
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