Ice depths range from 2 to 8 inches on all area lakes so caution is advised. Walleyes are hitting jigging spoons tipped with shiner minnows in 18 feet of water and panfish are being found in slightly shallower water. Lakes such as Round, Pelican, North Long and Upper Gull have seen the most activity.
Foot travel is still the best option, although most lakes are seeing some fishing activity. A slip bobber and small shiner is producing walleyes on the south end of Pelican Lake. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows under tip-ups on the weedlines and flats of most lakes. Panfish are biting on lakes such as Mahnomen and Black Hoof, but most have been small.
Two to 10 inches of ice is being found in this area, with some slush under the snow. Birch Lake and Pleasant Lake have seen the most activity, where 6 to 8 inches of ice is the norm. Panfish and small pike have kept anglers busy on these fisheries. Walleye reports remain inconsistent and spearing has been good throughout the area.
Lake Mille Lacs
East: Walleye reports remain limited, but the bays are kicking out perch in 7 to 9 feet. Ice depths vary on the main lake, although some roads have been staked by resorts to a few close-to-shore pieces of structure. Snowmobiles and ATVs are being used in a limited manner in these areas.
West: There's 5 to 7 inches of ice about a half mile out with some slush in areas. Look for ATV traffic by this weekend, but call first. The deepest snow is close to shore, with less snow, other than some drifts, further out.
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