Msg 1 Posted: 08:06 PM 12/29/06 (CST)
Most area lakes have 8-12 inches of ice. On Grand Lake, anglers are taking lots of northern pike from 8 feet of water, as well as a few nice crappies and walleyes during evening hours. Boulder Lake is producing a variety of fish in depths of 8-9 feet, with ice reported to be 10 inches thick. Crappies are active on Grand, Nickel and Fish lakes. Loopers are coming out of Lake Superior near the French River and Stony Point on inflated crawlers. St. Louis River anglers are catching eelpout.
On Rainy Lake, ice anglers are venturing out to Sand and Black bays, with reports of up to 8 inches of ice. The walleyes are hitting small minnows worked in 28-30 feet of water during evening hours. Please remember that areas with current may have unstable ice--anglers are asked to check ice depth often and avoid areas with current, such as stream inlets, narrows and bridges.
On Lake of the Woods, there are reports of 15 inches of ice up to 3 miles out from shore. Walleyes and saugers are being pulled from depths of 22-24 feet of water. The walleyes are most active during early morning and evening hours, and sauger are being taken during late morning and early afternoon hours. For the most fish, try a gold or glow jig, with glow red gem-n-eyes also working well. Along the South Shore of Lake of the Woods, anglers are taking limits of 15- to 17-inch walleyes and saugers. For limits of fish, travel just one mile out from Rocky Point. Please note that the Babbler's Road access is still limited to ATV's and snowmobiles. At the Northwest Angle and Islands area, ice houses are set up over 20-24 feet of water, with ice now 14 inches deep. The best approach has been a luminous jig tipped with a shiner. Visitors only need a driver's license to travel to the Northwest Angle and Islands area--no passport is necessary.
On Blackduck Lake, some nice-size perch are being pulled from a variety of depths. Upper Red Lake is reported to have a consistent walleye bite, as well as some good crappie action. For walleyes, hit the area roughly one-half mile out from Rogers along the south side.
Turtle Lake is giving up some nice-size sunnies. Cass Lake has been good for walleyes, however anglers must use caution around the pressure ridge off Stony Point. Bemidji and Plantagenet lakes are producing lots of walleyes as well. For large perch, hit Pike and Irving bays.
On Lake Winnibigoshish, limits of walleyes are coming from the deepwater structures, especially at the humps off of Ravens Point, just north of Bena Bar, and roughly three miles southwest of The Highbanks. For the most fish, try a northland buckshot rattle spoon or a gold doodle bug tipped with a chub or shiner head. Drill 8-12 holes from the break to the top of the structure until you locate active fish. Lots of nice jumbo perch are also being taken. Clear water conditions have allowed for some great northern pike action. At Big Cutfoot Sioux, walleyes are active late in the day. The best locations are the points and bars, as well as just north of The Gap. The crappie and bluegill bite has been sporadic. Drill lots of holes for the most success. Please note that the ice is not thick enough for vehicle travel.
On Leech Lake, lots of 10- to 13-inch walleyes, as well as some nice-size fish are coming in. Sand Point and Walker Bay have been best. Shingobee Bay, and the area behind Bear Island at Boy Bay are producing large panfish. Four-wheelers have been the primary mode of travel.
Perch are biting on Woman Lake. Walleyes are active on Birch Lake, and hitting fatheads. Try Pine Mountain for panfish.
On Potato Lake, walleyes are being pulled from 18 feet of water on fatheads and rainbows. The Crow Wing Chain has been good for northern pike in roughly 14 feet of water. Sunfish are active in depths of 12 feet, and crappies are coming out of water as deep as 30 feet. Most area lakes are giving up fish, and most are covered in roughly 12 inches of ice.
Area lakes are producing lots of sunnies and crappies, as well as quite a few walleyes. Lake Lida has been excellent for numbers of walleyes and northern pike. Prairie Lake is the best bet for sunnies.
Walleyes are hitting shiners worked in 18 feet of water on Ottertail Lake. Crappies are active in 18 foot depths on West Battle Lake. Sunfish action has been excellent on East Lost Lake in roughly 10 feet of water, with waxworms working best. Most area lakes are averaging 10-12 inches of ice.
On Lake Minnewaska, a strong walleye bite continues from about 4pm until roughly one hour after dark. Jig and fathead combinations, as well as shiners on a plain hook are taking fish from 12-15 feet of water just off the weedline. During the day, a good perch bite is being reported in the same area. Towards the city of Glenwood, the sunnies are biting in depths of 12 feet, however a lot of them are small. Crappies are active in 15 feet of water after dark, and hitting glow jigs and minnows. Ice is averaging roughly 10-14 inches.
Walleye anglers are having success on Gull and Pelican lakes, especially in 20-30 feet of water. For the most fish, use glow devil jigging spoons. For crappies, hit the smaller area lakes, such as Nisswa, Cullen, Sylvan, Round and Gladstone. A few crappies are also coming out of the Whitefish Chain. Northern pike are very active along the weedlines, with many of the smaller lakes and larger lake bays giving up fish. The best approach has been a shiner minnow on a tip-up in 10-14 feet of water.
On Lake Mille Lacs, a good morning and evening walleye bite is being reported, with perch being taken throughout the day. There is approximately 10-11 inches of ice in most areas. Please check with local bait shops and resorts for the most current reports on ice conditions.
TWIN CITIES VICINITY
Sunfish and crappies are being pulled from Lady Lake. Hunters Bay on Big Birch Lake has been good for crappies early in the morning, especially from 4:30 am until roughly 30 minutes after the sun rises. There's a good walleye bite on Big Birch at night. St. Marys Lake is giving up panfish. Anglers report roughly 8-10 inches of ice on area lakes.
On Lake Waconia, there is from 7 ½ to 9 inches of ice in the bay. During the day, anglers are catching perch and sunnies in 7-10 feet of water. During evening hours, move out to 10-14 foot depths for crappies and walleyes. Cemetery and Andersons reefs have about 6 ½ to 8 inches of ice, and have been good for walleyes. Please note some large cracks and open water remain.
On Lake Minnetonka, the ice at Independence, Browns and Smith bays is starting to break up. On average, ice thickness ranges from 2 to 6 inches. Please check with a local bait shop for the most current report before venturing out.
Forest Lake is reported to have 6 to 8 inches of ice near shore, however ice is thinner over the deeper water. Forest and Clear lakes have both been good for walleye action.
The panfish bite has been good on South Chisago Lake, and near Pancake Island on South Center Lake. Ice is reported to be roughly 8 inches thick in these areas. Walleyes are biting in the channel between South Lindstrom and Chisago. Sunrise Lake has been good for northern pike and bass.
On the St. Croix River, there is roughly 6 inches of ice at Bayport, and 9 inches of ice on Lilly Lake, with lots of panfish coming in.
On the Mississippi River, walleyes and sauger continue to bite below the dam, with anglers still fishing from boat. For the most fish, use a hair jig and minnow. Some anglers are also doing well fishing under the high bridge. Crappies are biting at the Baypoint dock area.
Lake Francis is reported to have 8 inches of ice, with lots of fish being taken. Large shiners on tip-ups have been the best approach. Ice on Lake Elysian has deteriorated, and anglers must use extreme caution if venturing out. There are reports of 9 inches of clear ice on Lake Tetonka. Most area lakes are producing panfish. For the most fish, use demon jigs alone or with silver wigglers or a waxworm. Anglers are asked to please call ahead for the most current ice conditions.