Msg 1 Posted: 08:24 AM 05/10/08 (CST)
This is the Explore Minnesota Fishing Report Newsletter as of Thursday, May 8, with information provided courtesy of www.outdoornews.com, and brought to you by Explore Minnesota Tourism. |
Some lakes in northern Minnesota are still covered in ice. Anglers planning to fish in the northern one-third of the state this weekend should contact a bait shop located near their destination to learn if lakes are open and boat ramps are accessible. Also consider fishing a shallower lake since lakes that warm up faster are likely to offer better walleye fishing. And please wear your life jacket, especially during May and early June, when the effects of cold water are particularly threatening.
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.
Anglers may obtain fishing licenses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by dialing 1-888-665-4236 , or accessing DNR License Sales
While theres still quite a bit of ice in the middle of Rainy Lake, the current areas and a few of the bays are open so there will be plenty of places to fish this weekend.
There was still some ice floating on the larger area lakes early in the week. The bays, however, and the smaller area lakes are open. Crappies are starting to bite in the bays of Lakes Pokegama and Wabana, with other lakes expected to produce fish in the near future. And, the warm-water discharge plant on the Mississippi River continues to provide steady panfish action.
On Lake Vermilion, the bays have started to open up, and the main lake is right behind. There should be plenty of open water spots for this weekends fishing opener, and the walleye bite is expected to be good.
While a handful of smaller area lakes are open, ice still covers most of the larger lakes, especially up the Gunflint Trail. Anglers are advised to call ahead before traveling to these far northern lakes. Currently, there is an excellent steelhead bite on the Brule, Cascade and Caribou rivers.
The ice has melted on all inland lakes, but the panfish are not yet biting in the shallows. On Lake Superior, trolling stickbaits near the surface on down to 30 feet of water has produced coho salmon and lake trout. Kamloop action has been best in the Lester and Sucker rivers, especially when using spawn sacs.
The open-water panfish bite is heating up. Over the next couple of weeks, look for crappies in the narrows of Big Sandy Lake, and in the narrows and at Pleasant Point on Lake Minnewawa.
On Lake of the Woods, area resorts and bait shops are gearing up for opening weekend. The Rainy River and Four Mile Bay are now completely ice-free. Open water can also be found one mile past Pine Island, and throughout much of the Northwest Angle.
On Upper Red Lake, the ice has melted, and a few crappies have been caught close to shore. Accidental walleye catches have also been reported by panfish anglers. Suckers are running in the creeks, and keeping anglers very busy this week.
On Lake Winnibigoshish, the middle of the lake had a stretch of open water on Monday. There was also a stretch of open water on Tuesday from the Mississippi River up to Sugar Bay on the west side of the lake. Although the ice has started to break up, a lot of ice remained on the main lake early in the week.
The smaller area lakes are open, and the ice is melting quickly on the larger bodies of water. Rabideau and Gilstead lakes should be the best early crappie options, especially when using minnows in the shallows.
While some ice was floating on the larger area lakes early in the week, it was melting fast. Most of the smaller area lakes are now open, and panfish action should be good by this weekend.
On Cass Lake, half of Allens Bay was free of ice earlier this week. The main lake still had a lot of ice, but it was starting to shift with the wind. Much of the main lake is expected to be open by this weekend.
On Leech Lake, there was still a lot of ice on the lake early this week. The bays had started to open, and the main lake ice was starting to break apart. Plenty of open water should be available to fish this weekend.
Some lakes recently opened, and others will be free of ice shortly.
The ice is off all area lakes, and anglers are just starting to venture out in search of panfish. Early reports indicate that crappies are coming from the shallows on the north end of Long Lake. The bays on Big Mantrap Lake and the Crow Wing Chain of Lakes have started giving up a few panfish as well.
Crappies are being pulled from the Long Bridge area of Big Detroit Lake. The Bowling Alley area of Little Detroit Lake is giving up panfish during afternoon hours. Panfish are also coming from the inlet and outlet areas on Height of Land Lake, as well as the shallow bays on lakes Melissa and Sallie.
Crappies have started hitting in the bays and along the shoreline areas of East Battle, Ten Mile and West Battle lakes. The best sunfish reports are coming from Deer and Mollie Stark lakes in 2-6 feet of water.
The shallow bays on most of the smaller area lakes have started to produce crappies. The afternoon hours, when the water is warmest, have been best. For the most fish, use small jigs tipped with minnows or waxworms.
A consistent crappie bite is being reported in the Starbuck Marina and at Fish Hatchery Bay on Lake Minnewaska. Lots of small sunfish are also being pulled from these areas. The north end of Pocket Lake is beginning to give up crappies in 4-6 feet of water.
Panfish action should be best in the shallow bays and shorelines of Fairy, Lilly, Big Birch and Long Bridge lakes this weekend, with both sunnies and crappies being taken.
Crappie fishing has picked up in the bays, channels and harbor areas of Gull Lake. The smaller area lakes have also started to produce panfish, with most coming from less than 5 feet of water. Nisswa, Margaret, North Long and Round lakes are all giving up fish.
Shore anglers are catching panfish on Milford Lake, portions of the Rabbit River, and on many of the smaller lakes in the Recreation Area. Plastics have been very productive, with flu flus tipped with a minnow also working well. For the most fish, hit depths of less than 6 feet during evening hours.
On Lake Mille Lacs, the harbors and channel areas are giving up a few crappies, although the bite seems to have slowed since last week. A few days of warm weather should improve the bite. The entire lake is now free of ice, which is good news for anglers.
St. Cloud/Eden Valley
The Rumble Bridge area on the northwest corner of Lake Koronis is producing sunnies and crappies. Look to the bay near Morningstar Resort on Rice Lake in less than 6 feet of water for a few crappies. Long and Horseshoe lakes are also providing steady panfish action in the shallows.
Twin Cities vicinity
Crappie action has been very consistent. Some fish were recently pulled from 2-6 feet of water on Green, Briggs, Elk and Blue lakes. The afternoon and evening hours have been best. While some sunfish have been mixed in, most have been small.
Sunnies and crappies have shown up in good numbers throughout the shallow bays and channel areas. Waxworms, minnows and Berkley Gulps are turning fish on Clearwater, Cedar, Sylvia and Pleasant lakes in depths of less than 6 feet.
Jordan/West Metro vicinity
Panfish action has been slow to develop. Most anglers started getting out this week and experienced limited success along the shorelines and shallow bays. By this weekend, look for most dark-bottomed bays to be holding sunfish and crappies.
On Lake Waconia, crappie action has picked up around the docks in the marina. A small jig and minnow combination under a slip bobber is working best during afternoon and evening hours.
On Lake Minnetonka, minnows and waxworms are producing a lot of crappies throughout the lake. Most of these fish are located along the shorelines out to roughly 10 feet of water. While some sunfish have been mixed in, most have been small.
Sunnies and crappies remain active, with minnows and waxworms working the best. The best reports are coming from 3-6 feet of water on North Lindstrom, Chisago, South Lindstrom and South Center lakes.
White Bear/Northeast Metro vicinity
Crappies and sunnies have become very active in the shallow bays of White Bear, Vadnais and Centerville lakes. The marinas and docks scattered throughout the St. Croix River are also providing good crappie action this week. Walleyes and sauger are scattered but active on the St. Croix River. For the most fish, use a jig and minnow in 8-23 feet of water.
The walleye bite on the Mississippi River has been slower this week now that most fish are in a post-spawn period. The most consistent bite has been downriver from the High Bridge to the mouth of Lake Pepin. Anglers are having the most success using brightly colored shad raps. Crappie action has picked up around the docks at Baypoint Park.
Sunfish action has picked up in the shallows of Hunts, Shields, Mazaska and Roberds lakes. Crappies are hitting minnows and waxworms at the creek mouths of Shields and Mazaska lakes. Minnows have also turned some good-sized white bass on Mazaska Lake.
The lagoon on Lake Tetonka continues to produce crappies. A few more crappies and good-sized perch have also been taken from the main lake in 10 feet of water. The narrows on Lake Sakatah are giving up crappies to anglers using minnows. Bullhead action remains strong on Jefferson Lake.
Look for crappies in 10-14 feet of water in Bakers Bay on Lake Washington. The west side of Lake Francis is kicking out sunnies and crappies in depths of 6 feet or less. Hit 10-12 feet of water at the south end of German Lake for panfish. Buckmaster Bridge on Madison Lake is also giving up crappies.
Small jigs tipped with minnows or waxworms are producing good numbers of crappies in the shallows on Amber, George, Hall and Budd lakes. Walleye and northern pike reports have been good on the Minnesota/Iowa border lakes, with a jig and minnow combination working best.
The bays, shorelines and culvert areas are producing lots of sunnies and crappies. Lakes such as West Norway, Nest, Elkhorn, Andrew, Diamond, Willmar and Florida are giving up fish.
A jig and minnow combination is turning walleyes during evening hours on Big Stone Lake. Some of the better locations include the shallows at the Twin Silos, Shady Beach, and the Meadowbrook area. Jigs are now working well for walleye anglers on the north end of Lake Traverse in depths of 8 feet or less.