Msg 1 Posted: 03:31 PM 04/06/05 (CST)
There's too much ice to put a boat in and not enough to walk on in this area. A few anglers have started checking the traditional spring crappie spots and have yet to find fish. By the weekend, look to the bays and channels on Clearwater Lake and Lake Sylvia to possibly be holding a few panfish.|
As of this writing, ice anglers were still walking on West Battle Lake, Star Lake, and South Turtle Lake and catching panfish in shallow water. The shorelines were opening and the ice was looking black, which means it probably won't be safe by this weekend.
Ice conditions are changing daily but the panfish action has been the best it's been all year. As long as the ice is safe to walk on look to lakes such as Rabideau, Gilstead, and Pimushe to produce bluegills and crappies in eight to 14 feet of water. The crappie bite on Upper Red Lake also has been very good this week.
The ice is going fast and only a few anglers continue to trust it. Look for sunfish and crappies on the shallow weed flats of most lakes in six to eight feet of water. Look for open water anglers to start fishing from shore by the weekend.
The ice is expected to be gone from most lakes by this weekend. Look to the shallow bays and channels on South Lindstrom Lake and North Center Lake to be two locations worth checking for open water crappie action very soon.
Ice conditions on the inland lakes are deteriorating quickly, which has put a quick end to the ice fishing season. Along the north shore of Lake Superior, the cohos have really moved in and the Kamloops continue to bite as well. The French River area has been best, but the Lester River and other river outlets along the north shore all have started producing fish. Looper Bugs tipped with waxworms have worked best, but there are fish also being caught on spawn sacs.
The lakes are completely ice-free, and the crappie bite in open water is just getting started. Perch Lake and Clear Lake are producing a few nice crappies and you will hook some fish at the George Lake Dam. On Tuttle Lake, bullheads and an occasional crappie are being caught in shallow water.
The ice should be completely off all lakes by the weekend. There's already some open water fishing taking place in the channels of Cannon Lake where anglers are finding a few crappies. The two dams in town have started providing a few sunfish and crappies as well, so look for the bite to improve very soon.
You can still get on the lakes in this area, but few anglers are fishing. The shorelines have started opening so if warm weather persists, ice fishing opportunities could be limited by the weekend.
The ice that remains is limited and floating. Most lakes should be wide open by the weekend so look for the crappies to be active in shallow water very soon. Lake Marion already has produced a few crappies for anglers fishing off shore.
LAKE MILLE LACS
Isle Bay was producing crappies in eight feet of water earlier this week, and there was some perch action in deep water off the Blue Jug Flat. Every indication is that the ice will be unsafe by the weekend. The shorelines were opening and main lake ice was very black as of this writing. Look for open water crappie action to start very soon.
There's still some ice on the main lake but the channels and shorelines are open. The first crappies of the season have been pulled from open water on Minnetonka. Small jigs and minnows are producing quite a few fish around the shallow docks. Anglers fishing from shore in Grays Bay also are finding quite a few sunfish in shallow water. Ice flies tipped with waxworms are working best.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Ice conditions are deteriorating quickly on the main lake. As of Tuesday morning, ice anglers were limited to walking out at the Graceton Beach access and catching walleyes in 18 feet of water. The Rainy River is now open past Baudette and heading toward Wheeler's Point. Most accesses are now open, but the water started getting muddy on Sunday, which slowed the bite.
The resort accesses are now closed and the few anglers still venturing on the ice are using public ramps. The shorelines are quickly pulling away so use caution if traveling on the lake. Perch reports have been sporadic with deep water bars holding the most fish.
By this weekend, it might be difficult to get on the ice. If the shorelines allow you to get to them, there are some perch in Agency Bay. Most of the bigger perch are coming from eight to 12 feet of water and hitting small minnows or waxworms. Tullibee action continues to be very slow.
You'll find nothing but open water in this area and there is a few panfish being pulled from shallow water. Baker's Bay and Mud Bay on Lake Washington are producing sunfish in six to 10 feet of water and crappies in slightly deeper depths. Other lakes worth noting for crappies in the next several days will be Crystal and Loon.
The ice has started to pull away from the shores so the ice fishing season could be over by the weekend. As of Tuesday morning, perch and sunfish were still being caught through the ice on Lake Minnewawain 12 feet of water.
Most of the lakes are now open and anglers have begun to look for panfish in the shallows. The bite has yet to start, although there were a few small crappies caught in the area. The catfish bite is worth noting on the Mississippi River and there's plenty of rough fish to be had as well. Nightcrawlers are providing a mixed bag of fish on the river.
Ice anglers are limited to ATVs, and even that's winding down as ice conditions deteriorate every day. Sand Bay is the best bet for late-ice walleye action in 33 feet of water. Jigging spoons and a minnow head continue to work best early and late in the day.
The bigger walleyes have started to hit in recent days on the Mississippi River. Better areas this week are from the levee wall up to Bay Point. Three way rigs and crankbaits or a jig and a minnow combination are turning the majority of fish. Below the dam, you'll find more numbers of walleyes and a few saugers, but these fish have not been as big.
Open water is very evident and there has been a few anglers checking the traditional spring crappie spots with limited success. Look to the channels, bays, and culverts on the Horseshoe Chain, Mud Lake, and Lake Koronis to be the first spots to produce fish.
The Starbuck Marina on Lake Minnewaska is free of ice, but the panfish have yet to show up. Water temperatures have gone up daily so expect to find crappies in the shallows by this weekend. There's still some floating ice on the main portion of Minnewaska and the small lakes are open.
The St. Croix River is mainly open with just a few stretches of ice. The river level is high, approaching a no-wake stage. Fishing activity is slow with just a few crappies and white bass being caught near the bridges and flooded timber on the river.
NORTHEAST METRO - Most small lakes are wide open and only floating ice remains on the bigger bodies of water. A few anglers have started looking for crappies in the bays and along shorelines with no success.
SOUTHWEST METRO - Although the crappies have yet to bite, there's more open water than ice in this area. Even the bigger lakes such as Waconia are opening up. The only fishing to report is taking place on the Minnesota River near Chaska where carp and catfish can be had from shore.
The ice fishing season is over as most lakes continue to open more each day. A few anglers have begun fishing from shore on the smaller lakes in this area, with little or no success for crappies and sunfish.