Msg 1 Posted: 09:26 PM 01/12/07 (CST)
Warm temperatures have caused ice to deteriorate on lakes and rivers throughout the state. ANGLERS ARE ASKED TO PLEASE CALL AHEAD FOR THE MOST CURRENT CONDITIONS BEFORE VENTURING OUT--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
While most area lakes have 9-14 inches of ice, anglers must use caution around the pressure ridges, with a truck recently breaking through the ice. Please remember that all breaks in the ice need time to freeze over. Boulder Lake continues to produce walleyes in 8-10 feet of water on rainbow chubs. Pike Lake is giving up some nice eating-sized walleyes and tons of perch during the day. Grand Lake has been good for northern pike, with golden shiners working best. On the St. Louis River, near Pokegama Bay, large crappies are coming in. Shore anglers on Lake Superior are having success with the loopers and coho salmon near the French River--the best approach has been a crawler worked off the bottom, or a spawn sack. Anglers trolling out on Lake Superior are taking nice-sized steelhead, loopers and lakers. For the most fish, use a small spoon and bomber bait.
On Lake Kabetogama, anglers had some success last weekend with the crappies, walleyes and saugers. Some large pike were taken this week on tip-ups, and by spearing. Some anglers are enjoying the new law allowing both spearing and angling at the same time and place. For the most fish, use live decoys for spearing, and light northern suckers for tip-ups in the shallow weedy bays. Crappies can be found suspended off the bottom using tube jigs and small plastics. Walleyes and saugers have been most active in 28-35 foot depths, with small blade jigs tipped with minnows working best.
On Rainy Lake, the walleyes and crappies are now most active early and late in the day. For the most fish, hit Birch Point and Rainy Lake City using a glow jig with a small minnow in 30-35 feet of water. Black Bay has been best for large northern pike. Please note the ice can be unstable due to Rainy Lake currents--stick to the areas where people are already fishing. The National Park Service has staked the green lake trail from the Rainy Lake Visitor Center to the Ash River Community.
On Lake Of The Woods, roughly 18-20 inches of solid ice has formed along the South Shore. All access roads are now open to medium-sized vehicles, snowmobiles, and ATVs. Ice is measuring 19 1/2-inches roughly one and one-half miles off Pine Island, with walleyes and sauger being pulled from 22-30 feet of water. Anglers are having success using live chubs on 1/4- and 1/2-ounce pink, multi-silver and glow jigs. The Rainy River currently has 12 inches of ice. The hot spot for walleyes is the 4-mile stretch between Silver Creek and Vitas Access. The best approach has been a pink or fluorescent yellow jig tipped with a frozen shiner worked in roughly 18 feet of water. The trail to the Northwest Angle is staked and used daily. Fishing has been excellent, especially just south of Oak Island on the reefs.
The perch bite has been good on Blackduck Lake, with some walleyes also being taken. For panfish, hit Gilstad Lake. Crappies have become more active on Upper Red Lake, and anglers are having lots of success with the walleyes.
Perch and walleye action has been steady on Lake Bemidji. Perch are being taken throughout the day on glow devils. Walleyes are coming in after dark. Northern pike are being taken by both spear and tip-up anglers using large shiners and redtails. Pike Bay Lake is producing quite a few walleyes. Crappie action has been best on Gilstad and Rabideau lakes.
On Lake Winnibigoshish, walleyes are now most active during both early morning hours and during the last two hours of the day. Northland glow doodle bugs, and buckshot rattle spoons are working well in depths of 20-25 feet at the tops of humps and on the edges of bars. Nice-sized perch are also being taken in slightly deeper depths. As always, stay on the move until you locate fish, and as the winter progresses, decrease the size of the bait. The breaks off Long Bar, the tip of Bena Bar, and the humps nearby have all been productive. A shallow perch bite is being reported off of Bowen's Flats, and at Tamarac Bay. Crappie action remains inconsistent, but should improve in the next few weeks.
Perch are biting at the usual hot spots on Leech Lake, and on the back side of Pine Lake in 10-12 feet of water on fatheads. Panfish are active on most of the smaller area lakes in 18-24 feet of water on waxworms. Crappies can be found suspended during evening hours in 20-21 feet of water, roughly 4 feet off the bottom. Some walleyes are being pulled from the deep water on the humps at Walker Bay.
Fishook Lake continues to produce walleyes in roughly 26 feet of water on fatheads. Big Mantrap Lake is giving up lots of northern pike in 9-12 feet of water on large sucker minnows. Try Fishook Lake and the Crow Wing Chain for panfish. Bluegills are most active in depths of 9-12 feet, with waxworms working best. Crappies can be found suspended using crappie minnows in 30 feet of water in the deeper holes.
Sunnies and crappies are biting on Prairie Lake. Walleyes are coming out of North Lida and Pelican lakes. Northern pike anglers using tip-ups are having success on Lizzie and Prairie lakes.
Ottertail Lake is producing walleyes in 12-20 feet of water on jigs tipped with either small shiners or small- to medium-sized suckers. A few perch are also coming in. Another hot spot has been the humps out in depths of 30-35 feet. West Battle Lake is giving up a few walleyes in roughly 20 feet of water on shiner minnows. A few walleyes are coming out of Clitheral Lake during evening hours on shiners and fatheads. Crappies can be found suspended about 4 feet off the bottom in 16-20 feet of water on West Battle Lake. Crappies are also being pulled from Ethel, Wall and Walker lakes. Sunfish are active on Rush, East Lost and North Turtle lakes. Northerns are biting at the weedlines on Clitheral, West Battle, Ottertail, Long and North Turtle lakes. Most lakes have 12-14 inches of ice, however anglers are asked to please use extreme caution around the ice heaves, with a truck recently plunging through the ice.
While Lake Minnewaska has roughly 11-12 inches of ice, a few ATV's broke through the ice near the creeks and ice heaves last weekend--please avoid these areas! On the Glenwood end, the panfish bite is excellent, with limits of sunnies and crappies being taken. Most of the crappies are coming from 12 feet of water on glow jigs, as well as gold aberdeen hooks tipped with a large fathead. Walleyes can be found just out from the Minnewaska House, High School and Priest's Point--just look for the fish houses. Towards the city of Starbuck, northern pike are hitting large sucker minnows under tip-ups in roughly 15 feet of water. And walleyes are hitting shiners between 3:30p.m. and 8:00p.m.
On Lake Osakis, walleye action has been inconsistent, with reports of some fish moving back into the shallows. The night bite has been best for the nicest fish. Good reports are coming from Schultz's Bay and along Caughren's Point in 20-26 feet of water. Numbers of northern pike are being taken by spear anglers. For the largest fish, hit the shallow weedlines and heavy cover. Good numbers of sunfish continue to be taken on the north end, however fish have been smaller.
Most area lakes are covered in 8-10 inches of ice, however anglers are asked to please use extreme caution near the channels and points. Walleyes are biting on Pelican, Whitefish and Gull lakes in 10-24 feet of water. The best approach has been a shiner or rainbow either bobber fished or jigged with a spoon, especially during late afternoon hours. Northern pike anglers are having success in the shallow bays using large pike minnows and tip-ups in 6-16 feet of water. Crappies and sunnies are being pulled from most area lakes. For the most fish, hit 12-20 foot depths using small jigs tipped with minnows or waxworms.
Serpent Lake continues to produce walleyes. Pelican Lake is giving up lots of smaller walleyes to anglers using shiners and rainbows on a set line. Crappies remain active on Perry and Mahnomen lakes, as well as some of the other smaller area lakes. Also consider Cedar Lake during early morning hours. Sunfish are biting on Mahnomen, Little Blackhoof, Dean, and other shallow lakes. Northern pike anglers are doing well using light northern suckers or large shiners on the weed flats and edges of most area lakes. Recently, many walleye anglers are catching pike on their jig set-ups over deeper water, especially on lakes with good mid-lake structure. For the most fish, use tip-ups at 12-16 feet of water on the edges of fast breaks.
On Lake Mille Lacs, many areas on the north end have 13-16 inches of ice, however there are also areas with only 4-5 inches of ice so extreme caution must be used--be sure to travel out from a resort and follow their directions closely. Anglers are catchng walleyes on the edges of most of the flats. The best approach has been a small kastmaster or swedish pimple tipped with a minnow head. Agate Reef and Big Point have been good for numbers of fish. Perch action has been sporadic on the flats, with many small fish and an occasional 12- to 13-inch perch being reported. Waxworms and small jigs seem to be working best, especially during early morning and late afternoon hours. The largest fish are coming in between 8:00pm and 11:00pm. Along the southeast shore, most resorts report 16-20 inches of ice. There is a road from Hunters Point to the mud flats where anglers are catching limits of walleyes. The four and five mile gravel bar is producing a lot of walleyes and perch.
TWIN CITIES VICINITY
Pearl Lake is producing crappies. Sugar Lake is giving up crappies and sunfish, as well as some walleyes. Fishing has also been good on Cedar Island Lake near Richmond. Northern pike continue to bite on Pearl and Pleasant lakes. Crappies are being pulled from the Mississippi River. Some perch and crappies are being taken from Eden and Mayhew lakes. Please note that every lake has variable ice conditions, with ATV's and trucks going through the ice as far north as Lake of the Woods. Anglers venturing out must check ice depth often, and proceed with caution.
Ice is roughly 9-11 inches thick on most area lakes. On Clearwater Lake, lots of northern pike are being taken by spear anglers, as well as tip-up anglers fishing in 8-15 feet of water. A good sunfish bite is taking place on waxworms worked at the weedlines. Crappies are biting in the 50 foot hole, roughly 10-15 feet off the bottom. Walleyes are being taken on minnow heads jigged in depths of 18 feet.
On Lake Waconia, Wagners Bay is giving up sunfish and northern pike at the weedlines in 10-13 feet of water. Waconia Bay is producing sunnies, crappies and perch. Walleye anglers are heading to Cemetery Reef, with fish coming from 12-20 feet of water at the drops on shiners and fatheads.
On Lake Minnetonka, ice fishing has still been slow due to questionable ice conditions. Walleyes are biting in Wayzata Bay during evening hours, with anglers reporting roughly 6 inches of ice. Towards the city of Shorewood, anglers are taking walleyes around dusk. There are reports of 7 inches of ice in the smaller bays. Caution is still necessary, however, especially in the larger bays and near the bridge embankments that reopened during last week's warm spell. Lotus and Hydes lakes continue to produce lots of smaller crappies. There have been a few reports of smaller walleyes coming out of Lotus Lake and Lake Independence.
Walleyes and northern pike are hitting small shiners on Forest and Green lakes. There is roughly 9 inches of ice on most areas of Forest Lake.
South Center Lake, from Sunset Point to Whispering Bay, has been good for crappies. South Lindstrom Lake is giving up a few crappies and walleyes in front of the hospital.
On the Mississippi River, boats can still access the river just below the dam and under the high bridge. Some nice-sized sauger, measuring 18- to 23-inches, are coming in on plastics. Plugs are also working well between these two locations.
Lake Tetonka is reported to be completely iced over, with 8-9 inches ice. Circle Lake is giving up a few walleyes. Lake Francis is producing northern pike on large sucker minnows and chubs. Clear Lake in Waseca has been good for crappies. All species of fish seem to be most active in 10-17 feet of water.