Walleyes and northern pike continue to hit in deep water, 20 to 40 feet, on several area lakes. Leading the way are Gull, North Long, Pelican, and Round. The best action has taken place early and late in the day. Crappie action remains consistent on Nisswa Lake, Upper Cullen Lake, and North Long in 25 to 30 feet of water. Look for sunfish on these lakes as well, but in shallower water.
Big Chippewa Lake and Reno Lake are producing walleyes in 15 to 20 feet of water. Jigging spoons have worked best during low-light periods of the day. Little Mary Lake is kicking out crappies in 10 to 14 feet of water. This action has also been best early and late in the day.
Clearwater Lake is producing crappies, most of which are suspended, over 40 to 50 feet of water. Limestone Lake is also a safe bet for crappies in 20 feet of water. Lake John and Pleasant Lake are giving up northern pike in 10 to 15 feet of water. Look for a few walleyes from Clearwater in 20 to 24 feet of water.
Dead Lake is giving up sunfish and crappies in 10 to 15 feet of water. On Stalker Lake, you'll find active walleyes in 10 to 20 feet of water. Dead Lake, Clitherall Lake, and West Battle Lake have produced enough walleyes to keep things interesting in 18 to 20 feet of water. Northern pike are an easy catch along the weed edges of most area lakes.
Lake Bemidji and Grace Lake are giving up walleyes in 15 to 30 feet of water. Look to Bemidji and Big Turtle Lake for numbers of good-sized northern pike along the shallower weed edges. Crappie and sunfish reports continue to be very limited.
The island area just off Nelson's Landing on North Center Lake continues to produce walleyes. South Lindstrom Lake is a safe bet for crappies and walleyes, as is the south end of Chisago Lake in 8 to 12 feet of water. Kroon Lake is producing numbers of good-sized crappies in 20 to 25 feet of water.
Anglers on Wolf Lake are finding suspended crappies over deep water. Island Lake and Rice Lake continue to kick out walleyes during the evening hours in 8 to 12 feet of water.
Look for some crappies on Hall Lake in 15 feet of water. Wilmont Lake has produced crappies as well in 6 to 8 feet of water. Walleye and northern pike action has been slow.
Lake Mazaska and Shields Lake are the area's best bet for bigger northern pike. Anglers are finding suspended crappies over 18 to 30 feet of water on French Lake, Shields, and Fox Lake. Small shiner minnows are producing a few walleyes during the afternoon and evening hours on Cannon Lake, French, and Shields Lake.
Hook Lake is producing walleyes and northern pike in 10 feet of water. Green Leaf Lake is giving up a few crappies, as is Lake Marion in 10 to 12 feet of water. The early morning and evening hours have provided better activity.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
The bays on the south end of the lake are producing numbers of big northern pike. The best walleye, sauger, and jumbo perch reports are also coming from the south end, near Gull Rock Reef. Limits of walleyes and sauger are being pulled with regularity in the Northwest Angle/Islands area and near Pine Island in 22 to 30 feet of water.
The area just north of Battle Point continues to produce crappies in 35 feet of water. These fish have been suspended and are biting best on minnows. Schultz's Bay is giving up walleyes in 25 to 27 feet of water. Small shiner minnows, fatheads, and redtails have worked best. Anglers taking the time to do a lot of hole-hopping are finding a few sunfish on the north end in 20 to 24 feet of water. Anglers on the south end of the lake are finding a mixed bag of walleyes, perch, and northern pike in 18 to 22 feet of water.
Walleye numbers continue to improve on the main lake bars and humps. The early morning and evening hours have been best, with smaller jigging spoons working best. Expect some bonus perch in these locations as well. Perch also are hitting throughout the lake in 8 to 10 feet of water. Northern pike anglers are finding plenty of fish in the shallows as well.
In the north the recent cold weather has slowed the fishing activity in recent days. There haven't been as many people out due to the cold weather. Those that have gone out are finding northern pike in shallow water. The best perch bite is coming from 12 to 15 feet of water. Walleyes have been somewhat active in 16 to 18 feet during the evening hours. The ice is in good shape here, but stay on the plowed roads.
In the south, the early morning and evening hours have provided steady walleye action on the Walker Bay humps in 22 to 28 feet of water. The shallow-water action also has been very good off Sand Point and in Sucker Bay in 7 to 15 feet of water. Pine Point and Sucker Bay have provided the best numbers of good-sized perch. Most of the bays are kicking out northern pike, with Steamboat Bay providing a few larger fish.
In the east walleyes continue to be caught in 10 to 15 feet of water early and late in the day. There also have been better walleye reports regarding the deeper, main lake structure. Look to the flats and reefs in 24 to 28 feet of water for better daytime activity. The best perch action is coming from the rocks. Jigging spoons have provided better walleye and parch action.
In the west, you'll find walleyes relating to the first shoreline break in 15 to 20 feet of water. With the mud flats becoming more accessible, anglers have found walleyes on them as well. Look to the edges of the flats to be holding more fish than the tops, especially early and late in the day. The bigger perch are still coming off the shoreline break areas.
Eleventh Crow Wing Lake is kicking out walleyes in 21 feet of water. Northern pike are hitting on Long Lake in 12 to 14 feet of water. Look for the bigger fish to be weed related. Fish Hook Lake is a safe bet for sunfish and crappies in 10 to 12 feet of water.
Northern pike continue to be very active in shallow water throughout the lake. Look to shoreline structure and vegetation to be holding bigger fish. The best walleye action is taking place off Birch Point in 28 to 33 feet of water. The crappie bite hasn't really kicked in on the American side, but anglers traveling across the border are finding success for crappies in Northwest Bay.
Limits of crappies are common during the evening hours on certain days. When the fish bite, they've been good-sized and most active in 14 feet of water. Small crappie minnows and jigs continue to work better than anything else.
There are a few walleyes coming off Rice Lake and the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes, but it's been spotty for the most part. Northern pike are keeping anglers busy on Pearl Lake in 15 to 17 feet of water, and on Grand Lake in 10 to 15 feet of water. Look for suspended crappies on Cedar Island Lake and Schnieder Lake in 20 to 24 feet of water. Sunfish reports have been pretty much nonexistent.
The Bayport area of the St. Croix River is providing decent sauger and walleye action in 30 feet of water. Jigging spoons have worked best here. There have been a few more crappies caught in 40 feet of water on the river as well. These fish have been suspended and nice-sized.
In the northeast metro if you fancy northern pike fishing, hit Forest Lake or White Bear Lake in 8 to 10 feet of water. Numbers of fish have been easy to catch. Bald Eagle Lake, Big Marine Lake, and Green Lake are producing walleyes.
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