Msg 1 Posted: 07:37 PM 03/07/08 (CST)
This is the Explore Minnesota Fishing Report Newsletter as of Friday, March 7, with information provided courtesy of www.outdoornews.com, and brought to you by Explore Minnesota Tourism.|
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anglers that the walleye, sauger, northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing seasons closed at midnight on February 24 for most non-border waters in Minnesota. For more information, please contact the DNR at 651/296-6157, or visit www.dnr.state.mn.us
Anglers may obtain fishing licenses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by dialing 1-888-665-4236, or accessing http://www.wildlifelicense.com/mn/ And, please consult Minnesota DNR rules and regulations for slot limits on specific lakes.
The opening dates for the 2008/2009 fishing season for most inland waters in Minnesota are as follows: walleye, sauger, northern pike, lake trout and stream trout in lakes, May 10; largemouth and smallmouth bass, May 24; and for muskie, June 7. The fishing season for crappies, sunnies, perch and catfish is continuous.
Please remember that ice is never considered totally safe. The DNR 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 ATVs, and 8-12 inches of new, clear ice for cars and small trucks. Please note that melting and refreezing makes ice less stable, especially in areas with springs or current. Anglers are asked to please call ahead for the most current conditions before venturing out. Anyone choosing to venture out must use extreme caution and check ice thickness often.
Before heading out, consider learning how to make and use ice picks and claws by checking out the 1-minute video on the DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/index.html
Anglers may obtain fishing licenses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by dialing 1-888-665-4236, or accessing http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/licenses/agents.html
On Rainy Lake, northern pike and walleyes are hitting in the Rainy Lake City area early and late in the day. Sand Bay continues to kick out walleyes in depths of 32-40 feet. The east end of Sand Bay has started giving up crappies over depths of 45-50 feet. The Northwest Bay on the Canadian side is also worth noting for crappies.
Big and Little Cutfoot Sioux are producing sunnies and crappies over 20-30 feet of water. Look for crappies in depths of 21 feet on Big Splithand Lake. Bass Lake continues to produce bluegills in 6-18 feet of water. On Little Ball Club Lake, sunnies and crappies have started hitting in depths of 19-24 feet. Nikkel Lake is kicking out rainbow trout, while Moonshine Lake is worth noting for rainbows and browns.
Crappie action has picked up in 20 feet of water on many of the smaller area lakes. Glow jigs seem to be working best during low-light conditions. Lake trout remain active over depths of 50-60 feet. Dead sticks and airplane jigs tipped with ciscoes are triggering the most fish on Burntside and Knife lakes.
Lake trout continue to provide anglers with the most action, with fish found suspended over 30-50 feet of water on Greenwood, East Bearskin, Seagull, Loon and Saganaga lakes. Kimball Lake remains the areas best bet for rainbow trout, especially in depths of 14-16 feet. Look for the walleye action to begin heating up on the border lakes in the near future.
On Lake of the Woods, walleye action has picked up in 16-20 feet of water around Pine Island. A walleye, sauger and jumbo perch mix continues to be found on the reefs scattered along the south shore. On the Rainy River, northern pike are being taken during the day, with walleyes being pulled from depths of 19-21 feet during evening hours. At the Northwest Angle and Islands area, rattle jigs are producing limits of walleyes around Oak Island in 26-29 feet of water.
On Upper Red Lake, the few crappie anglers have found scattered pods of fish. Some nights, anglers are taking four to six crappies from the south shore, roughly three miles out in 13-14 feet of water. Red glow jigs and minnows continue to be the best approach. A few perch in the 9- to 11-inch class are also being taken.
Look for bluegills in 10-15 feet of water on Rabideau and Gull lakes. Crappies remain deep, and can be found suspended 30-40 feet of water on Gilstead Lake, especially during evening hours. On Blackduck Lake, the 20- to 24-foot mud remains the best bet for perch anglers.
Bluegills are being pulled from 12-14 feet of water on Grace and Pimushe lakes. Pimushe Lake is giving up quite a few crappies in depths of 20 feet or more during evening hours. On Lake Bemidji, jigging spoons are turning good-sized perch on the north end in 35-40 feet of water. The Stoney Point area of Cass Lake has also been good for perch action.
On Lake Winnibigoshish, perch action has slowed on the main-lake bars. The most consistent perch reports are coming from the humps near Ravens Point, with jigging spoons working best for the largest fish. The key has been to drill lots of holes and stay on the move.
On Leech Lake, perch action has picked up again off Pine Point and the Goose Island Flats in 11-15 feet of water. Jigging spoons tipped with minnow heads are triggering the larger fish. Shingobee Bay is producing some panfish in depths of 10-14 feet. Crappies are being found in 20-22 feet of water on many of the smaller area lakes, including Long, Howard, and Steamboat.
Panfish action has been sporadic, however the Crow Wing Chain remains a safe bet in 14 feet of water. Crappies can be found suspended over depths of 25-30 feet on Big Mantrap Lake during low-light hours. For bluegills, work 12-14 feet of water on Fish Hook Lake. On Long Lake, rainbow trout are being taken on jigs and waxworms worked over 50 feet of water.
The shallow weedlines on Floyd, Melissa, Island and Big Detroit lakes are giving up lots of sunfish. Crappies are also coming from these lakes during evening hours in depths of 22-32 feet. Tullibees are cruising the deep holes of Long and Loon lakes.
Sunfish continue to be pulled from 15-20 feet of water on West Lost, Big Pine, Star, Rush, South Turtle and West Battle lakes. For crappies, check depths of 20 feet on Ten Mile Lake, as well as Pelican Bay on Otter Tail Lake. A few pods of tullibees have been located in the deep holes of Mollie Stark and Pickerel lakes.
Look for sunfish in 10-15 feet of water on Maple, Miltona, Smith, Mary and Reno lakes. A few crappies can be found suspended during low-light hours in depths of 20-30 feet on Darling, Geneva, Le Homme Dieu and Ida lakes. The best approach has been a glow jig and minnow.
On Lake Osakis, anglers are taking crappies and sunnies from the north end by staying on the move and drilling lots of holes. The best reports are coming from 18-22 feet of water, however anglers are having to sort through a lot smaller fish. An occasional good-sized perch is being pulled from 30-40 feet of water off Four Mile Bar.
The smaller area lakes, and the bays of the larger area lakes are providing steady crappie action in 14-16 feet of water. For the most fish, use waxworms or minnows during low-light hours. Some sunfish are also being pulled from these same depths. Some of the better locations this week include Nisswa, Round and Upper Gull lakes, as well as the Highway 371 Bay on North Long Lake.
Crappies are hitting demon jigs and small jigging spoons during evening hours on Bay Lake, as well as many of the smaller area lakes. The best bluegill action is coming from shallow weeds when using horizontal jigs and Eurolarvae. A few tullibee were recently taken from the deep holes on several area lakes.
On Lake Mille Lacs, the best east end perch action is taking place off the deep gravel and rocks near Lybacks and Hunters Point resorts. For the most fish, work 28 feet of water or deeper. The Two Mile gravel also produced some decent numbers this week. For the larger fish, drill a lot of holes and stay on the move. On the west end of the lake, the 23- to 27-foot rocks along Seguchie, Browns and Shermans points have given up the best numbers of large perch. On the Seven Mile and Eight Mile flats, perch are being pulled from depths of 32-36 feet, although more of the smaller fish are coming off the mud. Again, stay mobile and drill a lot of holes for the most fish.
Lilly Lake is producing sunfish in 22-24 feet of water. Fairy Lake is giving up sunnies in depths of 8-12 feet. Sunfish are also being pulled from depths of 5-7 feet at Hunters Bay on Big Birch Lake, and from the Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska in 12 feet of water during low-light hours. Sauk Lake continues to give up crappies over 30 feet of water, as is Long Bridge Lake in depths of 15-17 feet.
St. Cloud/Eden Valley
Crappies are being pulled from 16-20 feet of water on Cedar Island, Rice and Horseshoe lakes during evening hours. A lot of channel catfish are coming from the deep holes throughout the Sauk River Chain on jigging spoons, with most fish found suspended. For sunfish, hit depths of 8-14 feet on Pearl, Grand and Becker lakes, however expect to do a lot of sorting.
Twin Cities vicinity
Sunnies and crappies are being pulled from John, Sugar, Clearwater, Buffalo, Indian, Maple and Cedar lakes. Most of the sunfish are coming from 8-15 feet of water, with most crappies found suspended over deeper water. Also check out 30-35 feet of water on Pleasant Lake during low-light hours for a few crappies.
Prior Lake/West Metro vicinity
Pelican Lake near Monticello is giving up sunnies and crappies in 5-8 feet of water. Panfish action also remains strong on Whaletail Lake in depths of 10-12 feet, with most fish taken straight out from the public access. And, work the deep hole on Lake Parley during evening hours for crappies.
On Lake Waconia, the Marina has been closed until the ice melts. Earlier in the week, the Nelsons Flats area was giving up sunfish in 10 feet of water. Center Reef was producing sunfish and crappies in depths of 10-12 feet. More recently, an evening crappie bite is being reported over 20-23 feet of water south of Pillsbury Reef when using minnows.
On Lake Minnetonka, Spring Park Bay and Carsons Bay are kicking out sunnies and crappies in 12-15 feet of water. A few crappies have recently been taken off the deep weed edges during the day. Panfish can be found suspended over depths of 30-40 feet on lakes Sarah and Independence during evening hours.
North Center Lake is giving up quite a few sunnies and crappies in 8-12 feet of water. Chisago and South Center lakes are also providing steady panfish action, especially in depths of 6-12 feet. An evening crappie bite is being reported over 26-28 feet of water on Kroon Lake by anglers using minnows.
White Bear/Northeast Metro vicinity
Sunnies and crappies are active in 6-11 feet of water on Peltier, Demontreville and Centerville lakes. The St. Croix River is producing crappies and sauger in depths of 30-40 feet. A few crappies continue to be pulled from 10-12 feet of water on Lake Jane during low-light hours.
Numbers of good-sized sauger are being pulled from 18-25 feet of water just below the dam on the Mississippi River. For the most fish, use a jig tipped with minnows or plastics. Ice anglers are catching saugers in depths of 25 feet along the Maiden Rock Flats on Lake Pepin.
Check the south side of Shields Lake in 8-12 feet of water for sunfish and a few perch. Glow jigs tipped with minnows are turning crappies in 30 feet of water on Lake Mazaska during evening hours.
Sunfish are coming from 12-16 feet of water on German and East Jefferson lakes. The Bakers Bay and Second Point areas on Lake Washington are giving up lots of sunnies and crappies, with fish also being pulled from depths of 10-12 feet along the northwest end of St. James Lake.