Msg 1 Posted: 03:41 PM 12/22/06 (CST)
Minnesota Fishing Report courtesy of www.outdoorsweekly.com|
The recent warm spell has caused ice to melt on some lakes and rivers. Please remember that ice is never considered totally safe. The Department of Natural Resources reports that 4 inches of ice is the minimum thickness recommended for travel by foot. Ice safety guidelines also recommend a minimum of 5 inches of new, clear ice for snowmobiles and ATV's, and 8-12 inches of new, clear ice for cars and small trucks. Melting and refreezing of ice makes it less stable, especially in areas with springs or current, such as near lake inlets and outlets.
Anglers may obtain fishing licenses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by dialing 1-888-665-4236, or accessing www.dnr.state.mn.us/licenses/agents.html
Pike Lake has roughly 5-6 inches of ice, with walleyes being pulled from 18-21 feet of water on rainbow chubs and rosies. Fish Lake is covered in about 7 inches of ice, with rainbow chubs worked in depths of 10-12 feet producing walleyes. Boulder Lake has 8-9 inches of ice, and the walleyes are hitting rainbow chubs during evening hours. Boulder and Fish lakes are also giving up crappies on glow jigs and minnows. On Lake Superior, loopers and lakers are being taken from shore, as well as by trolling off the river mouths. For the most fish, try small, bright spoons, bombers and ripsticks, with inflated crawlers also working well from shore. Boat landings remain open at Knife River and Two Harbors. On the upper St. Louis River, walleyes are beginning to bite.
On Lakes Kabetogama and Namakan, few reports are available due to unsafe ice. Northern pike anglers are doing well in some shallow bays, with limits are being taken. Fish are averaging 2- to 5-pounds, however a few large 20-pound pike are coming in. Shallow water walleyes are being taken on tip-ups. Please note that the ice remains roughly 3-5 inches thick, with slush covering the surface. Please use EXTREME caution, and check ice depth frequently when venturing out.
On Rainy Lake, anglers are catching quite a few walleyes during the first few hours of sunshine, but most of these fish are on the small side. The best approach has been a shiner minnow and fluorescent jig worked in 20-25 feet of water. Most anglers are fishing Sand Bay since the ice at many other areas of the lake is unsafe. Please be aware that ice depths can vary quickly due to current and other factors. If you do venture out onto the ice, check ice depth frequently.
On Lake of the Woods, fish are being pulled from depths of 20-24 inches on gold and glow jigs tipped with shiner minnows. Along the South Shore, buckshot rattle spoons and demons are also working well. Limits of 15-18 inch walleyes are being taken, along with limits of saugers. Several walleyes over 10 pounds and northern pike measuring 29-40 inches have also been reported. Ice on Lake of the Woods is now averaging 13-14 inches. The snowmobile lake trail has been staked from Wheeler Point to Garden Island, and from the ramp at Zippel Bay State Park to Warroad. The lake trail conditions, however, are poor. More snow and cold is needed before conditions are decent. As always, please use caution when riding on area lakes and rivers.
Blackduck Lake is producing walleyes and perch in depths of 6-20 feet. Ice thickness varies from 8-16 inches on most area lakes. Upper Red Lake is giving up a few walleyes, and fishing has been sporadic.
Walleyes are being pulled from lakes Bemidji and Plantagenet. Cass Lake has also been good for walleyes, however anglers must use caution near the pressure ridge off Stony Point. Turtle Lake is giving up some nice-sized sunnies. Try Pike Bay and Irving lakes for some large perch.
On Lake Winnibigoshish, ice thickness was estimated at 9-13 inches last Sunday, however reports have been conflicting. Fishing has been excellent, with limits of walleyes and nice-sized perch being taken. Most of the successful anglers are using buckshot rattle spoons, kastmasters, and 1/8-ounce doodle bugs with half a minnow for both species. An occasional northern pike is coming in as well. Move from hump to hump until you locate active fish, especially at depths of 22-28 feet. Crappie fishing on Big Cutfoot Sioux has been fair--for the most fish, try small jiggle bugs, hornets, or demons with 2 or 3 spikes.
On Leech Lake, walleyes are biting off of Sand Point in 15-20 feet of water. During evening hours, try Walker Bay as well for a few walleyes. Shingobee Bay has been best for panfish in 15 feet of water.
Sunnies are biting on Broccoli Lake, located just southeast of Hackensack. Walleyes are active on Pine Mountain Lake, with shiners working best. Birch Lake is producing a few walleyes in depths of 18 feet on blue glow jigs tipped with a fathead minnow.
Walleyes are hitting fatheads and shiners worked in 17-20 foot depths on Long and Potato lakes. Big Mantrap Lake is producing lots of northern pike in roughly 12 feet of water, with a lot of slot size fish coming in. The Crow Wing Chain has been good for sunnies in 10-12 feet of water.
Fishing has been good throughout the area. Prairie Lake has from 10-12 inches of ice. Nice-sized sunnies and crappies are coming in, with a good walleye bite also being reported. Some of the walleyes have been fairly large. Lida Lake is giving up walleyes and crappies, however anglers must be aware of the slot limits.
Anglers are having success on numerous area lakes. Walleyes are being pulled from depths of 17-35 feet of water on Ottertail Lake. For the most fish, try jigging off the bottom using suckers, shiners or fatheads. Battle Lake is giving up walleyes in roughly 23 feet of water on golden shiners. Walker and Rush lakes are producing fish in depths of 17-25 feet. Crappies are biting on West Battle Lake. The best approach has been a glow jig and shiner worked in 17-25 feet of water around 5pm. Also check out Stalker, Elbow and Ten Mile lakes for crappies, with fish found suspended. Roughly 10-12 inches of ice covers most area lakes.
Lake Minnewaska still has roughly 9-10 inches of ice. Minnewaska is a shallow prairie lake, and the ice remains hard and stable according to area reports. Walleyes are being pulled from 14-16 foot depths. For the most fish, try a #6 glow rock 'n roll tipped with a large fathead, with a 21-inch walleye also taken on a moon glow and shiner minnow during early evening hours. The crappie bite has been very good, and an estimated 50 to 60 people were fishing out from the DNR Wall last Saturday. Nice-sized sunfish can be caught early in the day, with the crappie action heating up later in the day. The best approach has been a small crappie minnow, wiggler or waxworm. Towards the city of Starbuck, good numbers of walleyes are being taken from roughly 4pm until an hour after dark on jig and fathead combinations, and shiners on a plain hook. Anglers are having the most success fishing just off the weedline in 12-15 feet of water. During the day, a good perch bite is also being reported in this area.
On Lake Osakis, ice conditions vary greatly, and extreme caution must be used near the points and inlets with moving water. The majority of the lake, however, still has 6-10 inches of ice. Fishing has been somewhat slow due to the lack of snowcover, with fish moving to deeper than normal depths for this time of year. Walleyes are most active well after sunset, and can be found hanging just off the sides of deep structure. Sunfish continue to be pulled from Caughren's Point on light tackle worked in 6-14 feet of water.
Walleyes and crappies are being taken on shiner minnows, especially on Pelican and Rabbit lakes. Serpent, and a few other area lakes are also giving up a few fish. Northern pike anglers are taking lots of fish at the weeds on tip-ups and giant shiner or sucker minnows. A 42-inch northern was caught and released by a crappie angler on an area lake last Saturday. Darkhouse spearing has also been productive. Crappie anglers are doing well on a few of the smaller area lakes, with sunnies and crappies coming out of the same hole on a couple of these lakes. For the most fish, try a small Maynards Jig tipped with a waxworm or small crappie minnow. A flasher or another form of electronics is recommended since the fish are concentrated in certain areas, although not at any specific depth in the water column.
Open water remains on the Whitefish Chain because the Army Corp is still allowing water to run through the dam--please use extra caution near these open water areas. The ice is reported to be in better condition on the Upper Whitefish Chain, with good walleye and crappie reports coming in.
Most lakes are covered in roughly 6-9 inches of ice, and ice conditions improving now that this week's warm front has passed. A few walleye anglers have recently had success in 20-30 feet of water on Pelican, North Long and Gull lakes. The best approach has been a J.B. Varmit jigging spoon tipped with a minnow head. The larger walleyes are hitting good-sized golden shiners, especially just before sunset. Crappie reports have been good on some of the smaller area lakes, as well as on the Gull Lake Chain. For the most fish, try a small crappie minnow or maggot after dark. Please remember that all anglers venturing out must use extreme caution.
On Lake Mille Lacs, perch are being pulled from Wigwam Bay. On the south side, fish right off the bottom in roughly 19 feet of water during the day. Towards dusk, a few walleyes are also moving in. Ice was reported to be approximately 6-7 inches thick last weekend. Ice on the northeast corner is up to 9 inches thick in some areas, and averaging 5-7 inches in others. It is recommended that anglers access the lake through a resort. For the most fish, hit 12-14 foot depths on the sand and gravel using jigs tipped with a minnow. Agate, Hunters and Hawkbill points are also producing fish, with depths of 14-18 feet being best. Some anglers are having success on the closer mud flats. For good perch and crappie action, hit the bays. Fishing has been excellent on the southeast corner of the lake, with reports of more than 10 inches of ice. Anglers are pulling walleyes from depths of 18-28 feet at the gravel and rocks, and perch are active in 8-14 feet of water.
TWIN CITIES VICINITY
On Big Birch Lake, the ice heave off of Crocker Point created some open water which is now icing over. Extreme caution must be used in this area. The remainder of Big Birch is mostly covered in 8-9 inches of ice, aside from the area near the narrows between Big and Little Birch lakes. Nighttime walleye fishing has been good using shiners and small suckers on Big Birch and Cedar lakes. On Big Birch, work the bar just up from the Rock Tavern in 16-18 feet of water, or on the St. Rose end near the humps. On Cedar Lake, hit the area out by the bar across from the access. Lady, Pine and St. Marys Lakes have all been good for panfish action. Spear anglers are having success on Little Birch and Long lakes due to very clear water. For some exciting northern pike action, try golden shiners during the day on Big Birch.
Ice anglers are catching sunfish on eurolarvae and waxworms worked in 12 feet of water on Sugar Lake and the Horseshoe Chain. Crappies are biting on Julia Lake. A good northern pike bite is being reported on Little Rock Lake. For the most fish, use sucker minnows and shiners. Ice conditions vary greatly on lakes throughou the area--anglers are asked to use extreme caution.
On Clearwater Lake, anglers can see roughly 8 feet down and spear fishing has been good. Walleye action has been best during morning hours in 18 feet of water, with jigs and minnow heads working best. The sunfish bite has been good in front and to the right of the bait shop in the weed hole. Crappies are being taken during morning hours straight out from the bait shop in 40 feet of water. During the middle of the day, hit the 50-foot hole by Bungalow Island. At sunset, crappie anglers are doing well using glow jigs and minnows in 26 feet of water. Ice is now roughly 8 inches thick, and some anglers are traveling via ATV.
On Lake Waconia, most anglers are fishing Waconia Bay and catching crappies and sunnies. A few anglers have ventured out to Pillsbury Reef for panfish, and there are even a few houses out on the north side. A good morning and evening walleye bite is being reported at Cemetery and Anderson's reefs. Ice is reported to be 6-9 inches thick in most areas of the lake.
On Lake Minnetonka, ice is reportedly breaking up at Independence, Browns and Smith bays. Please be extremely cautious if venturing out. Once ice reforms it may be thin and unstable in some areas. Towards the city of Shorewood, fishing has been slow due to varying and unstable ice conditions. The existing ice is getting soft. Some anglers continue to venture out onto some of the smaller lakes and Minnetonka bays. Hydes Lake has been producing good numbers of large crappies. Lake Minnetonka has been giving up walleyes in 15-20 feet of water, especially at Carsons Bay. There have also been some good reports from Priest's Bay.
Buffalo Lake continues to produce nice-sized crappies. Rush Lake is giving up good numbers of panfish and a few walleyes. Anglers continued to hit Green, Blue and Twin lakes last week.
While ice is reported to be thick enough for travel by foot on most area lakes, no ATV or vehicle travel is advised. Permanent fish houses should also be kept off the lakes. The panfish bite has been good throughout the area. Walleyes are biting on Green Lake during evening hours, with fish being taken from depths of 8-15 feet. On Forest Lake, northern pike anglers are having sucess using tip ups off Willow Point in 10 feet of water or less. Clear Lake off Highway 35 has been good for walleyes. Ice was averaging 4 inches on most area lakes earlier in the week.
Sunset Point off of South Center Lake has had a good crappie and walleye bite during evening hours, with sunnies biting throughout the day. On South Chisago Lake, between the A-frame and the Eagles Nest, panfish remain active. South Lindstrom is giving up good numbers of panfish in 8-10 feet of water. An average of 6 inches of ice was reported on South Lindstrom earlier this week.
Northern pike action has been excellent on Beaver, Battle Creek and White Bear lakes, just to name a few. Crappies are biting on the north end of Big Marine Lake. Sunnies are biting on Jane and Willy Lakes near Stillwater. Ice thickness was reported to be 4-6 inches on most area lakes earlier in the week.
Fishing has been excellent on the Mississippi River, with lot of nice-sized sauger and a few walleyes coming in. Boaters are doing extremely well at the dam, with good numbers of walleyes and sauger being reported. At the Baypoint dock area, anglers are having lots of success with the crappies and sunnies when using waxworms and Chena bait. A few northern pike anglers are doing well at the Frontenac pond.
Please note the ice thickness is very inconsistent on all area lakes--anyone venturing out must use extreme caution. The beach area on Lake Tetonka has been the recent hot spot, with shiners and fathead minnows working best.