Msg 1 Posted: 11:07 PM 01/19/07 (CST)
The trout opener on Briar and Clear lakes went well, and lots of anglers took large fish up the Gunflint Trail. A few walleyes continue to be taken from Boulder and Island lakes. Pike Lake is giving up some nice-sized walleyes in 17-20 feet of water. Bluegills are coming out of Caribou and Nickels lakes. The St. Louis River, near Kimbek Bay, recently gave up a few nice walleyes and quite a few of eelpout, however anglers must use extra caution on the river since ice thickness can vary quickly. Some anglers continue to have success shore casting on Lake Superior, with loopers and coho taken off Stoney Point and in front of the French and Lester Rivers. For the most fish, use crawlers off the bottom.
On Lakes Kabetogama and Namakan, cool temperatures and a little snow have made ice travel to popular fishing holes much easier. Crappies and walleyes are hitting small minnows in depths of 28-35 feet of water. The crappies can be found 6 feet off the bottom, with the perch, sauger and walleyes close to the bottom. The Kabetogama entrance into the Ash River has been a popular spot as usual, however ice travel this year will permit anglers to try all locations throughout the lakes. Pike anglers continue to do well in 10-18 foot depths, using both tip ups and spears in the clear water. Suckers and light northern size bait are the best bets. During last weekend's lake trout opener, many anglers chose to fish inland lakes, and had success using airplane jigs, heddon sonars, and ciscoes. Anglers using portables should remember to bring anchoring devices--don't forget that minimum reflective material is required.
Rainy Lake ice roads are open, with most ice houses concentrated near Birch Point. Several frigid nights have increased ice thickness, and apparently caused a change in fishing patterns. Anglers report catching lots of smaller walleyes during early morning and late evening hours in 30-35 feet of water. The larger fish are being taken from depths of 25-30 feet, especially at Black Bay and near the American Narrows. Glow jigs and minnows are working best. Large northern pike are also coming out of Black Bay. More lake trails have been staked within the Voyageurs National Park, however the Chain of Lakes and Ash River to Kettle Falls trails remain closed. The land trails are still in need of more snow for grooming, and conditions remain rough. Snow is in the forecast, and any additional snowfall could result in improved trail conditions.
On Lake of the Woods, off Pine Island, walleyes and sauger are 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. On the Rainy River, the hot spot for walleyes is the four mile stretch between Silver Creek and Vitas Access in roughly 18 feet of water. Frozen shiners on pink or fluorescent yellow jigs seem to be the best bet.
Ice continues to build, and more people are getting around. Perch and walleyes are biting on Blackduck Lake. Upper Red Lake has been great for walleyes, with crappie reports continuing to improve. Sunnies remain active on Gilstad and Rabideau lakes. Please note that the Agassiz Lodge on Upper Red Lake burned down Monday, January 15th. Fish houses continue to be rented, however anyone having reservations is asked to please call ahead at 1-877-783-0583
Walleyes and perch are biting on Irving and Bemidji lakes. Perch are coming out of 13-15 feet of water, and walleyes are active depths of 20-30 feet. For the most walleyes, use 3- to 5-inch suckers at night. Lake Plantagenet is giving up walleyes in depths of 10-30 feet. Perch are biting throughout the day. Tip-up fishing for northerns in the shallows has been productive using suckers and shiners. Panfish are active on lakes throughout the area.
On Lake Winnibigoshish, fish are coming from the edges of the main bars. Perch action has been fairly good off the main Bena Bar, on some the humps south of Stony Point, and on the south side of Center Bar. Buckshot rattle spoons with a dropper and small minnow recently produced several nice catches of jumbo perch. Walleyes have been most active from 3-5 p.m. The ice is measuring 16-22 inches thick on most areas of the lake, however caution should always be used when out on the ice. Several anglers have been doing well on Little Cutfoot Sioux, with a mixed bag of bluegills and a few crappies coming in. Eurolarvae and hornets, and small jiggle bugs have all been working well. For the most fish, stay on the move and drill a few extra holes until you locate active fish.
On Leech Lake, perch are biting at Pine Point. Shingobee Bay has been good for bluegills and crappies. Walleye action has been best during evening hours, especially in 15 feet of water at the humps of Walker Bay. Towards the city of Hackensack, walleye anglers are having success on Birch and Pleasant lakes.
Fish Hook Lake continues to produce walleyes on fatheads worked in roughly 26 feet of water. Big Mantrap Lake is still giving up lots of northern pike on large suckers worked in depths of 9-12 feet. For panfish, hit Fish Hook Lake and the Crow Wing Chain. Bluegills can be found using waxworms in 9-12 feet of water. Crappies can be found suspended in roughly 30 foot depths in the deeper holes using crappie minnows.
Crappies and sunnies are being pulled from Prairie Lake. Some smaller walleyes continue to bite on Lake Lida. Northern pike are hitting medium- to large-suckers on Lake Lida.
The walleyes are still biting on Battle Lake, mostly after 5p.m. Other lakes to check out include Ottertail and Eagle, especially in 20-22 feet of water. Northern pike are hitting large suckers on tip-ups in depths of 7-25 feet. The best crappie bite is on West Battle Lake, 17 feet down in 20 feet of water. And South Turtle, Branch, Ethel and Ten Mile lakes are also giving up a few fish.
On Lake Minnewaska, the Lakeside Ballroom Landing has a large ice heave that's making it difficult for vehicles to access the lake. The Beach and DNR Landing are holding up well. A great sunfish bite is being reported just out in front of "First Creek," between Lakeside and the DNR Landing. Good numbers of nice-sized walleyes are coming from Priest's Point and out from Peter's Resort. One angler took his limit of walleyes just out past the line of houses out from Lakeside on a #5 firetiger jigging rapala. There has been a really good perch bite from Bottle Bay to Priest's Point. Towards the city of Starbuck, sunfish are hitting waxworms on a small jig during the day. Walleyes can be found in 12-15 feet of water. Northern pike are hitting large sucker minnows on tip-ups. Ice is averaging 20-inches thick, however anglers must use caution due to a large number of pressure ridges.
On Lake Osakis, most of the walleyes being taken have been on the short side. For the most fish, hit Schultz's Bay, as well as the deep water off of Coon Point. Also look for suspended walleyes in the deep troughs this time of year. Sunnies and crappies remain active along the southeast side of Caughren's Point.
The ice appears to be in good shape for the 17TH ANNUAL ICE FISHING EXTRAVAGANZA on Gull Lake, January 20. Fishing has slowed somewhat, most likely due to the recent cold front. Anglers continue to take plenty of smaller walleyes on Gull Lake, as well as a few keepers and throwbacks each evening. Golden shiners have been the bait of choice for walleye anglers. Some are doing well close to the weeds in 13-18 feet of water, while others are catching fish in depths of 22-26 feet. The crappie bite remains steady on the smaller lakes. Fish can be found stacked up in the deep holes, using crappie minnows or waxworms.
Crappies and sunnies remain active, especially on Clamshell Lake. Walleye anglers report fish moving shallower on Pelican Lake, with walleyes being pulled from 12-36 feet of water on Pelican, Serpent, and Whitefish Chain of Lakes. Look for areas with a deep weedline surrounded by shallow flats. Down-sizing seems to be the key--try a crappie-style setup with a fathead or rainbow chub for the most fish. A few panfish anglers have even taken walleyes on waxworms. Northern pike have been very active on most lakes, especially in areas with deep breaks to the shallow weed flats. Spearers report seeing lots of fish, and smaller setups are resulting in greater catches, with some large fish taken this week. Concentrate on the larger lakes for the larger fish. More anglers are pursuing sunnies and crappies. Lakes producing good numbers of fish include Manhomen, Little Manhomen, Little Blackhoof, Perry, Upper Dean, and Adney. For the most fish, try a subtle approach, using waxworms and eurolarvae.
On Lake Mille Lacs, a couple of trucks broke through the ice last weekend--please check ahead with the resort you are departing from to verify ice conditions. If they let you out, stay on the marked roads. Out on Shermans Point, anglers are doing well. Seven Mile has also been good for fish. In Wigwam Bay, some nice jumbo perch are being taken, with some northern pike coming from the area just out from North Star Resort. A good walleye bite is being reported out on the mud flats. And, the deep gravel and mud are giving up fish in 25 feet of water and deeper.
TWIN CITIES VICINITY
Ice is averaging 13- to 15-inches on most lakes, with no snow covering the ice. Sunfish are biting on St. Marys Lake during early morning and mid-afternoon hours. Sunnies are coming out of Lady Lake, and Swan Lake has been good for both crappies and sunnies. Twin Lake is producing quite a few northern pike. For walleyes, try Long and Big Birch lakes. Vehicle travel on Big Birch is allowing anglers to access more of the lake's hot spots, resulting in greater catches.
Sunfish are being pulled from Sugar, Grand and Sauk lakes on waxworms and eurolarvae. Crappies are hitting genz bugs and minnows on Sugar, Cedar and Rice lakes. Northern pike anglers are doing well on Clearwater and Pearl lakes. The Mississippi River is producing walleyes, crappies and sunfish upstream from the Sartell Dam.
Fishing has been excellent. There are reports of nice-sized crappies coming from Green and Blue lakes. Some walleyes are being pulled from Blue, Crooked and George lakes. Northern pike are very active on Lake George, however fish have been small. Martin, Cross, Linwood and Buffalo lakes are giving good numbers of panfish. For the most fish, try small crappie minnows.
On Lake Waconia, ice is improving, and anglers are spreading out throughout the lake. For walleyes, hit 13-15 feet of water at Andersons Reef, or depths of 10-13 feet at Wagners Bay. A few fish are also coming from Pillsbury Reef. Waconia Bay is producing lots of sunnies, perch and crappies in roughly 9-11 feet of water, with an occasional walleye also being taken. Please note that there is still some open water off Harms Point.
On Lake Minnetonka, ice is now 6-8 inches thick in the bays. Some open water remains, and anglers must also stay clear of the channels. Northern pike are hitting shiners and large suckers in roughly 13 feet of water. For walleyes, hit 22 foot depths with structure using jigs tipped with fatheads. Sunnies are active in Wayzata and Greys bays, but many fish are small. Crappies can be found suspended just off the bottom in 40 feet of water on Lake Independence. Towards the city of Shorewood, on Lake Minnetonka, there are reports of 12 inches of ice in the outer bays of Excelsior, Carsons and Crystal bays. Caution is still necessary on the main lake and near the channels. Walleye anglers are doing well using small shiner minnows at dusk and during early evening hours. The northern pike bite has been the most consistent, with some nice-sized fish coming from the 12-15 foot weedlines on large shiner and sucker minnows.
Clear Lake has been good for crappies and walleyes in 10-20 feet of water. South Center Lake has been good for panfish and a few walleyes. South Chisago Lake is giving up sunnies in roughly 10-15 foot depths. For some larger sunfish, try Little Lake. Use quick strike rigs for northern pike, and glow demons for walleyes. The ice is expected to be nearly a foot thick by this weekend.
Sunset Point and South Center Lake have been good for walleye action from roughly 4:30pm into the night. Anglers are also taking some sunfish during the day. South Chisago and South Lindstrom lakes are producing a lot of bass, however they are catch-and-release only. A good sunfish bite is being reported on the south end of Chisago Lake between the Eagles Nest and the A-Frame. Crappies are biting on Kroon Lake. Sunrise Lake has been good for northern pike, with shiners and large suckers working best. Crappies and walleyes are biting during evening hours on South Lindstrom Lake near the Dinner Bell. There is some open water on area lakes--anglers are asked to contact a local bait shop or resort for the most current conditions before venturing out.
Northern pike are biting on Big Carnelian Lake. A few walleyes and panfish are being pulled from Coon and Jane lakes. If heading out, please call ahead for the most current conditions.
Oakdale/East metro lakes
Northern pike and sunfish remain active on lakes throughout the area. Crappies are being pulled from Bald Eagle, Big Marine and Carnelian lakes. Walleyes action has been good on Bald Eagle and Big Marine lakes, with some fish also coming out of White Bear Lake. For some larger sunfish, try Lake Peltier.
On the Mississippi River, some nice-sized northerns are coming from Frontenac Pond on tip-ups with sucker minnows. Good-sized panfish are being taken at Coville Park on small jigs and crappie minnows. There are still trout at Pottery Pond to entertain the kids--please remember that a trout stamp is required.
On Lake Tetonka, northern pike, walleyes, perch, sunnies and crappies are all being taken on shiner minnows and fatheads. Lake Tetonka has over 12 inches of ice in some areas, however there are still some weak spots. Anglers MUST use extreme caution, and check with a local bait shop or resort for the most current conditions before heading out.