Msg 1 Posted: 09:54 PM 03/20/08 (CST)
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, walleye action has improved, with Birch Point producing most of the fish in 28-32 feet of water. The American Narrows area is providing steady action in depths of 36-40 feet, with walleyes also being pulled from 30-40 feet of water at the east end of the lake. In all areas, low-light hours have been best. The Cranberry Island area has been good for lots of northern pike. The Northwest Bay on the Canadian side is giving up the majority of crappies.
The north and south ends of Bowstring Lake are producing crappies in 24 feet of water. Hit depths of 21 feet on the south end of Bowstring for numbers of perch. Jay Gould Lake is giving up perch in 7 feet of water. Bass Lake remains good for bluegills in depths of 6-18 feet. Little Ball Club and Big Cutfoot Sioux lakes offer consistent bluegill and crappie action in 24 feet of water. And Pooles Bay on Lake Pokegama has been good for panfish in depths of 19 feet.
The ice has broken up on the north end of Lake Superior, allowing Kamloop anglers to catch a few fish. Bluegill reports remain limited, but there has been an evening crappie bite in 12-15 feet of water on Fish, Boulder and Caribou lakes. For the most fish, use a glow jig and minnow under a float.
Pleasant Point on Lake Minnewawa is offering steady crappie action during low-light hours. Crappies are also coming from 16-22 feet of water at Bellhorn Bay on Big Sandy Lake, however these fish have been scattered. The deep hole on the north end of Big Sandy is giving up lots of tullibees.
On Lake of the Woods, the best walleye action is taking place on the reefs around Garden, Knight and Bridges islands. The shallow sand around Pine Island is producing walleyes and some very large northern pike. The Rainy River is now open at Loman, and should soon be open at Indus, Birchdale, and Franz Jevne.
Bluegills and crappies are being pulled from 12-14 feet of water on Gull and Rabideau lakes. Panfish can be found suspended over depths of 18-20 feet on Pimushe and Gilstead lakes. On Blackduck Lake, perch remain active at the 20- to 23-foot mud areas, as well as in 5-9 feet of water.
Perch are becoming more active on Lakes Bemidji and Plantagenet, especially in 20-25 feet of water. For the largest fish, use a small jigging spoon and minnow head. Grace Lake has been best for bluegills, with fish coming from depths of 12-15 feet. A good evening crappie bite continues in 15-20 feet of water on Larson Lake.
Perch are hitting small jigging spoons and minnow heads on the eight- to 17-foot flats on Cass Lake. The 12-foot weed edges on the north end of Pike Bay Lake are also giving up perch. For bluegills, hit 10 foot depths on the west side of Grace Lake. Crappies remain active during low-light hours, and can be found suspended over 30 feet of water on Kitchi Lake.
On Lake Winnibigoshish, perch are becoming more active, especially during morning hours. For the most fish, work the main-lake humps and bars in 40 feet of water using jigging spoons and minnow heads. The humps at Ravens Point and Sugar Island have been best. Sugar Bar and Zoomers Bar are also producing fish in depths of 25-40 feet. Perch are expected to move into the shallows in the near future.
On Leech Lake, perch continue to be pulled from 8-12 feet of water, especially from First Point to Moores Point in Walker Bay, and from Cedar Point and Goose Island to Sucker Bay and Pine Point on the main lake. Tullibees can now be found in the deeper waters of Shingobee Bay and off Stoney Point. Shingobee Bay has also produced sunfish and crappies in 25-30 feet of water during evening hours.
Sunfish action has picked up in 6-12 feet of water on Pleasant, Sanburn, Lindsay and Ox Yoke lakes. Crappies can be found suspended over depths of 12-35 feet on Wabedo and Birch lakes. Woman Lake is starting to produce perch in 14-16 feet of water.
Bluegills are active during morning and evening hours in 14 feet of water on Fish Hook and George lakes. Crappies remain suspended over depths of 20-30 feet on Big Mantrap Lake, and on the Crow Wing Chain of Lakes, with minnows working best during evening hours.
Sunfish are active in 8-12 feet of water on Island, Sallie and Melissa lakes, as well as in Deadshot Bay on Big Detroit Lake. These lakes are also producing crappies during evening hours in depths of 20-22 feet. Anglers are taking tullibees from the deep holes of Long, Loon and Pelican lakes.
Sunfish can be found scattered in 8-20 feet of water early and late in the day on Rush, South Turtle, Dead and Star lakes. Crappies can be found suspended over depths of 18-20 feet on South Turtle, Dead and West Battle lakes. The 8- to 10-foot flats on Otter Tail Lake continue to produce perch. Tullibees can be found suspended over deeper waters on Mollie Stark Lake.
Sunnies and crappies are being pulled from 10-14 feet of water on Le Homme Dieu, Miltona, Mary and Geneva lakes. Tullibees are coming from the deep water on the north end of Lake Ida.
On Lake Osakis, sunnies and crappies are scattered throughout the north-end bay in 18-22 feet of water. The early morning and evening hours have been best. Expect to do some sorting.
The Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska is producing sunnies in 10-12 feet of water. The best bite has been during morning hours and again late in the day, with Eurolarvae and small jigs taking the most fish.
The north end of Sauk Lake is giving up sunfish in 10 feet of water. Also look for sunfish in depths of 16 feet on Maple Lake, and in 18-22 feet of water on Lilly Lake. A few crappies are being pulled from Long Bridge Lake during evening hours.
Sunnies are hitting Eurolarvae and small jigs in 6-15 feet of water on Nisswa, Round and North Long lakes. The best crappie reports are coming from depths of 14-34 feet during evening hours on Round and Gull lakes. Most of the smaller area lakes are producing panfish throughout the day.
Area lakes are giving up crappies during evening hours on small plastics, with setlines and minnows also producing fish. The larger fish have been found suspended throughout the water column. Some nice bluegills are being taken on horizontal jigs and Eurolarvae worked in 6-10 feet of water. For the most fish, find the remaining green weeds adjacent to deep water.
On Lake Mille Lacs, the east end bays are starting to produce perch in 12-14 feet of water. Setlines and fathead minnows are turning the larger perch. A few limits of crappies were recent taken from the bays over depths of 9-13 feet. Reports from the west side of the lake have been limited this week.
St. Cloud/Eden Valley
Sunfish action is heating up in 8-18 feet of water on Horseshoe and Cedar Island lakes. Goodner Lake is producing sunfish in depths of 8-12 feet. The deep holes throughout the Sauk River Chain continue to give up channel cats. Look for crappies during evening hours in 18 feet of water on Rice Lake, and in 14 foot depths on Pearl Lake.
Twin Cities vicinity
Crappies continue to be found suspended during evening hours over 25 feet of water on Green Lake. Sunfish action has been best on Blue and Baxter lakes in depths of 11 feet during morning and evening hours.
Crappies can be found suspended over deep water on Buffalo, Pleasant and Cedar lakes. A few crappies have also been pulled from the shallower waters in the north-end bays of Lake Sylvia. Small sunfish are being caught in 8-14 feet of water on Clearwater, Sugar and Indian lakes.
Prior Lake/West Metro vicinity
Crappies and sunnies can be found just right of the access on Whaletail Lake. Lake Parley is producing sunfish in 14-18 feet of water. Wageners Bay and the Pillsbury Reef area on Lake Waconia are giving up sunfish in depths of 12-16 feet.
Lots of small sunfish can be found suspended over 24-26 feet of water on Lake Sarah. Spring Park Bay on Lake Minnetonka is giving up small sunfish in depths of 16 feet. The best crappie action is taking place after dark in 19 feet of water at Browns Bay on Lake Minnetonka, with minnows working best.
Sunfish action has been very good in the bays over 4-11 feet of water on most lakes. North Center and Chisago lakes have been best during the day. The Pancake Island area of South Center Lake is giving up sunnies and crappies in less than 10 feet of water. During the day, check depths of 28 feet on Chisago and Kroon lakes for quite a few active crappies.
White Bear/Northeast Metro vicinity
Jane and Demontreville lakes are producing crappies during evening hours in 10-12 feet of water. For sunfish, hit depths of 12-16 feet on Lake Peltier. The crappie bite on the St. Croix River has slowed. A few anglers are venturing out by boat onto the Mississippi River in search of walleyes.
On the Mississippi River, numbers of sauger and some larger walleyes continue to be caught below the dam in 18-28 feet of water. The mouth of Hay Creek has started giving up fish to boat anglers as well. For the most fish, use Ikes hair jigs, Sonars, and ringworms. The docks in the Baypoint Park area remain a good option for ice anglers in search of crappies.
The 10- to 14-foot sand bars on the southwest end of Shields Lake are producing sunfish. Bullrush Bay on the west side of Lake Mazaska continues to give up sunfish in depths of 10-14 feet. Look to Roberds Lake for the areas best crappie action, with fish being pulled from 15-20 feet of water during morning and evening hours.
Bakers Bay on Lake Washington, and the narrows on Madison Lake have been good for crappies. A few sunfish are coming from Bakers Bay as well. Look for some evening crappie action on German Lake in 16-20 feet of water. Jefferson and Tetonka lakes are giving up sunfish in depths of 15-22 feet.
Eagle Lake is kicking out crappies in 40 feet of water and deeper. Crappies are also being pulled from depths of 15-20 feet on Willmar Lake, and from 20 feet of water or less on Diamond Lake, especially during evening hours. The northeast corner of Green Lake is producing panfish over depths of 20-40 feet. Look for sunfish in 12-16 feet of water on North Long, Norway and Games lakes.
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