Minnesota fishing report 3-25-09
LAKE MILLE LACS
East - Perch reports have been limited over the past week. The deep bite seems to have slowed and there’s a lot of small fish on the shallower structure. The crappie bite in Isle Bay also has slowed. Call ahead for ice conditions as the shorelines are starting to pull away.
West - You’ll need an ATV to get on the lake at this point as many access points have started to deteriorate. A few good-sized perch have been taken on the mud flats in 30 to 34 feet. You’ll catch more perch on the rocks, but the size of them has been smaller. Tulibees remain suspended and active on the deep flats.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Anglers have been spread out along the shore from Morris Point to Long Point and are finding good walleye and northern pike action close to shore. You’ll find more saugers further out in the lake in 25 to 32 feet of water. The Rainy River was open at Birchdale and moving quickly toward Frontier as of Tuesday morning. There was still some shore ice, but it looks as if it will be fishable by this weekend.
LEECH LAKE AREA
Perch continue to be caught throughout Trader’s Bay, along Pine Point, Goose Island, Big Hardwoods, and up to Sucker Bay in 12 to 14 feet of water. There’s also been some perch action coming off the Snakepit Flats in 18 feet. Look to Shingobee Bay for bluegills and crappies in 10 to 12 feet. The ice is holding up, but ATVs are the best travel option at this point.
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
The shorelines are now open far enough to prevent anglers from getting on the ice. There has been some crappies pulled from open water in the channels and around docks throughout Lake Minnetonka on small jigs and minnows. These fish are shallow and active during midday periods.
The main-lake ice is in good shape but the Rainy River is open at Manitou. Walleyes continue to be pulled through the ice in Sand Bay over 30 to 34 feet and on the east end of the lake in 40 feet. The Rainy Lake City area is kicking out northern pike in 12 to 16 feet mainly with setlines and ciscoes.
You’ll find the most numbers of perch in eight to 12 feet on the west side of the lake. Better areas this week have been in front of West Winnie Campground, Sugar Bay, and Sugar Point. ATVs are now needed to get on the lake, but most shorelines seem to be holding up.
The shorelines and channels are open and there is some open water on the main portions of many lakes so ice fishing options have ended. Some accesses are now open on the St. Croix River allowing boat traffic, but the bite has been poor. High water is limiting fishing on the Mississippi River although the backwater areas are producing some walleyes.
The shorelines are open and preventing anyone from getting on the ice. Most anglers are traveling north or waiting for open water. Look to the channels, bays, and culverts to start producing open-water panfish action if the ice continues to deteriorate.
As of Tuesday morning, you could still get on most lakes with an ATV. That could change by this weekend so call ahead if you plan on ice fishing this area. Look to the north ends of Lake Victoria and Lake Geneva for crappies and sunfish in shallow water.
Shorelines are open too far on most lakes to get on the ice. A few anglers were sneaking on Clearwater Lake and Lake Sylvia early in the week and catching sunfish and crappies in less than eight feet. That might not be an option by the weekend.
The shorelines are opening so walking or ATVs are recommended. Sunfish remain active in seven to 11 feet on Rush Lake, Star Lake, and Stalker Lake. Look for suspended crappies over 18 to 20 feet on lakes such as Star, Rush, Dead, and West Battle. Perch are being taken on fathead minnows in nine to 12 feet on Otter Tail Lake and West Battle. Tulibees are suspended and active over 40 to 75 feet at Mollie Stark Lake, Clitherall Lake, Otter Tail, and Star.
The rain took a toll on most access points, but you could still get on area lakes with an ATV as of Tuesday morning. Lake Bemidji is kicking out perch in 20 to 30 feet during the day. Bluegills continue to be found on Pimushe Lake and Rabideau Lake in 10 to 12 feet.
Bring an ATV if you want to fish this area over the weekend. Perch continue to roam the deep and shallow structure of Blackduck Lake. Guys that stay on the move and work a small jigging spoon with a minnow head are doing best. Bluegill and crappie reports are limited with the exception of Gull Lake where bluegills are being caught in between 10 and 15 feet of water.
CASS LAKE AREA
Perch are being found on the eight- to 10-foot sand and weed flats or in 20 to 25 feet on Pike Bay Lake and Cass Lake. Hit LeRoy’s Bar or the east and west shorelines of Pike Bay or the north side of Star Island and Stony Point on Cass. Crappies and bluegills are hitting in shallow water on most small lakes.
The shorelines have started to open, but main-lake ice is in good shape - ATVs are the best option. Crappies and sunfish are hitting in five to seven feet of water, often cruising right below the ice. Small jigs tipped with eurolarvae are the best option on top of the cabbage. White Pine Bay on Serpent Lake, Black Hoof Lake, Little Pine Lake, Little Black Hoof Lake, June Lake, Greer Lake, Mary Lake, Bay Lake, and Crooked Lake are all producing fish. Just search for the greenest weeds available.
CROSS LAKE AREA
Crappies and sunfish are biting in 10 to 18 feet on most lakes. Small glow jigs tipped with waxworms or minnows have been the ticket early and late in the day. There should be no problem getting on the lakes with an ATV this weekend.
Anglers were walking out or using ATVs to get on a few lakes early in the week, but the shorelines have started to open and there are spots with black ice. If you plan on ice fishing this area over the weekend, it’s probably best to call ahead.
Bluegills and crappies are hitting on Fish Lake in 12 to 16 feet. Look to Island Lake for suspended crappies over 30 feet. Perch can be had on Fish Lake and Pike Lake in 10 to 15 feet, tight to the bottom. The wind blew in a lot of ice on the Duluth end of Lake Superior so shore fishing for Kamloops has not been available.
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
Crappies and sunfish are scattered between eight and 30 feet on Lake Pokegama. Little and Big Splithand lakes are producing crappies in 20 feet, as is Bowstring Lake in 15 to 22 feet. The best sunfish action is taking place on Graves Lake and Bass Lake in eight to 16 feet. The stream trout bite is holding up in 20 feet on lakes such as Kramer, Lucky, and Taylor. Look to Big Trout Lake and Larson Lake for splake and lake trout over 20 to 30 feet. The main lake and shoreline ice is in good shape and ATVs are options.
The shorelines have started to open so ATVs or walking are the best options for travel. The panfish bite has been limited with a few sunfish coming off Pine Mountain Lake, Big Portage Lake, and Lindsey Lake in less than 12 feet.
The deep hole in Wolf Bay is producing crappies, most of which are suspended over 45 feet. Whitefish and tulibees also have been found suspended in deep water. Elephant Lake is giving up crappies and further north in Grassy Bay, crappies remain active over deep water.
The ice fishing season is over. Most lakes are at least half open with many bays and small lakes completely ice free. Look for the first open water crappie action of the season to start with the next round of warm weather.
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Bluegills continue to be caught in 10 feet on Straight Lake and the Crow Wing Chain. The best crappie reports are coming off Island Lake and Big Mantrap Lake in 15 to 18 feet. The accesses have started to open, but ATVs remain an option for travel.
RED WING AREA
Hair jigs and minnows are producing walleyes and sauger in 12 to 18 feet on the Mississippi River. The mouth of Baypoint Park to Hay Creek and up to the dam has been best. Many accesses are now open including Covill Park on the Minnesota side of the river.
SAUK CENTRE AREA
As of Tuesday morning anglers were still getting on the ice although the shorelines have started to open. Lakes such as Osakis, Fairy, Lilly, Maple, Irene, and Big Swan were producing panfish in shallow water. Call ahead for ice conditions by this weekend.
Anglers were walking out or using ATVs on Lake Minnewaska early this week. The Glenwood end of the lake was producing sunfish in 10 to 12 feet, but watch the shorelines by this weekend.
The ice fishing season has ended as the ice deteriorated quickly with the rain. The shorelines and current areas are now open and many aerated lakes are mostly ice free.