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Print

Minnesota fishing report 4-10-09

April 10, 2009 at 09:16 PM

LAKE MILLE LACS

East - There’s still plenty of ice and most of the shorelines are intact. Perch anglers continue to work the bays and Hennepin Island area with limited success. Isle Bay and Cove Bay are giving up a few perch and crappies, but not a lot of numbers.

West - The shorelines continue to allow ATV traffic and the mud flats are producing perch. Seguchie’s, Curley’s, and the Seven Mile flats have been best in 28 to 32 feet. With some work you’ll find a limit of jumbos over 11 inches. Jigs tipped with waxworms or red larvae seem to work better than minnow heads.<

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Anglers are ice fishing on Lake of the Woods with no hesitation. But the main attraction has been the open water on the Rainy River. It is now open shore to shore up through the Vidas Landing and big boats are being launched. Through Tuesday morning the walleye bite was improving with most boats reporting better numbers than a week ago. Water temperatures were about 34 degrees early in the week and the river is quite fishable with decent water clarity and a slowing current.<

LEECH LAKE AREA

The shorelines have started to get beat up, but the main-lake ice is solid. If you can get on by this weekend look for perch off Stony Point and the Goose Island areas. The word this week is that the bite remains strong, but you have to do more sorting. Tullibee action has picked up in the deep-water areas and Shingobee Bay continues to produce a decent number of panfish in 10 to 14 feet.<

LAKE MINNETONKA AREA

Most lakes still have some ice on them, but there also is enough open water in the bays and channel areas to allow open-water angling from shore. A few crappies are being caught in Wayzata Bay and Maxwell Bay on Lake Minnetonka with small jigs and minnows. Look to the open channels and docks to hold crappies as well.<

RAINY LAKE

Mornings and evenings have been best for walleyes off Birch Point, Rainy Lake City, and the American Narrows in 30 to 45 feet. Northwest Bay is producing crappies and the big northern pike continue to hit in the Rainy Lake City area. The ice continues to hold and vehicles were an option for travel on most parts of the lake early in the week.<

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Many access areas are impossible to use, but the main lake ice is in good shape. Most anglers are fishing the west side of the lake from the mouth of the river to Sugar Point for perch. A jig and minnow is the best option in 10 to 12 feet of water and the bite remains consistent throughout the day.

NORTHEAST METRO

The small lakes are ice-free and most bigger bodies of water are opening at a rapid pace. Anglers have begun shore fishing the channels and bays on many lakes with poor success. A jig and minnow is turning walleyes in Pool 2 of the Mississippi River. Reports from the St. Croix River are limited with a few crappies, white bass, and rough fish being caught near the power plant.<

WEST METRO

Most small lakes are open and the bigger bodies of water such as Waconia still have a lot of ice on them. There is some open water crappie action reported off Hydes Lake in six feet and off the bridge at Prior Lake. The culvert area on the west side of Lake Zumbra also has produced a few panfish.<

ALEXANDRIA AREA

There’s still plenty of ice on most lakes, but the shorelines have started to pull away. If you wanted to find a spot to fish through the ice this weekend the possibility still might exist depending on the weather this week. It’s probably best to call ahead to find out if conditions have changed since early in the week.<

ANNANDALE AREA

Ice fishing is no longer an option with most bays, channels, and shorelines now open. By this weekend, there should be plenty of spots to fish panfish and look to the channels and bays of Clearwater Lake to provide some of the first action. With the right weather, complete ice-out should take place within the next week to 10 days.<

BATTLE LAKE

There were still plenty of lakes to ice fish early in the week. Based on conditions as of Tuesday morning, it’s likely anglers will get one more weekend of fishing out of the winter season. Look for sunfish in shallow water on lakes such as Dead, Norway, Lizzie, Rush, East Lost, Anna, and Elbow. Crappies are biting on lakes Lizzie, Walker, Steward, East Battle, West Battle, and Pelican in 12 to 18 feet. Otter Tail Lake is producing perch in 12 to 18 feet and tullibees continue to hit on Pickeral Lake, Mollie Stark Lake, Clitherall Lake, and Lake Lida over 40 to 70 feet.<

BEMIDJI AREA

Walking or ATVs remain an option on most lakes, although some of the shorelines are starting to get beat up. There’s decent perch action reported in six to 12 feet on Pike Bay Lake and Diamond Bar on Lake Bemidji. The best bluegill and crappie activity is coming off Grace Lake and Lake Pimushe in eight to 12 feet.<

BLACKDUCK AREA

The shorelines have remained intact and ATVs are still an option on most lakes. There should be plenty of spots to fish through this weekend, but the weather during the week will determine if you’re walking or driving an ATV. Blackduck Lake continues to provide steady perch action in less than 15 feet. Crappie reports are minimal, but look to Gull Lake for bluegills in 10 to 15 feet.<

BRAINERD/NISSWA AREA

Early in the week, anglers were still walking on most lakes. Some of the shorelines have started pull away, so watch ice conditions heading into this weekend. Sunfish were biting in six to 10 feet on Lake Margaret, Roy Lake, the bays on Gull Lake, and Cullen Lake. These lakes also have produced crappies in slightly deeper water.<

CHISAGO AREA

Most lakes are now ice-free and there has been a few panfish caught from open water in Dinnerbell Bay on South Lindstrom Lake. By this weekend, look for crappies and sunfish off the fishing piers at North and South Center lakes as well.<

CROSBY AREA

Ice conditions depend on the lake. Some shorelines have become questionable, making access difficult, but main-lake ice on most fisheries was in good shape early in the week. Perch were being caught on Bass Lake and Little Rabbit Lake in less than 10 feet. Bluegills and crappies are biting on most lakes that you can still get on. Look for ‘gills in six to 10 feet and crappies in slightly deeper water.<

CUSHING AREA

You have to watch the shoreline edges, but anglers were still ice fishing early in the week. Depending on how warm it gets during the week, access could be limited on most lakes so call ahead. If the ice holds, look to Lake Alexander and Lake Shamineau for crappies and sunfish in eight to 12 feet.<

DETROIT LAKES

The shorelines continued to allow anglers to get on the ice without hesitation early in the week. Walking out and ATVs should remain an option for travel for a few more days. Look to Little Detroit Lake, Island Lake, and Lake Melissa for bluegills and crappies in less than 10 feet. Tullibees continue to be found suspended over deep water on Long Lake, Big and Little Pine lakes, and Lake Melissa.<

DULUTH AREA

The ice has started to pull away from the shorelines on all inland lakes. The main-lake ice is crystalized and rapidly deteriorating. The ice did blow out of the North Shore on?Lake Superior allowing shoreline anglers to catch a few Kamloops. The French River area has been best with Looper Bugs or nightcrawlers.<

EAST-CENTRAL MINN

Most small lakes are now wide open and the ice that remains on most big lakes is going out fast. If it stays warm throughout the week, look to lakes such as Elk and Fremont to start providing open-water crappie action in shallow water as soon as this weekend.<

ELY AREA

ATVs were still being used on a few lakes early in the week, but the shorelines and current areas are starting to open. Call ahead if you plan on ice fishing this area over the weekend because conditions are quickly changing. Limited crappie action was reported off lakes such as Garden, Farm, and North Kawishiwi last weekend.<

FAIRMONT AREA

The lakes are all ice-free in this region and a few panfish have been caught in open water. Minnows and small jigs are the best option for crappies and perch on Fox Lake and Tuttle Lake in 10 to 15 feet of water. Nightcrawlers are turning some catfish on these same fisheries.<

FARIBAULT AREA

The lakes in this region have been ice-free for a couple of weeks. Anglers have begun hitting the traditional spring, shoreline spots for panfish but have yet to find any crappies. A few days of warm weather should quickly improve these types of open-water opportunities.<

GRAND MARAIS AREA

The shorelines remain intact and main-lake ice has not deteriorated a bit. But since the lake trout season closed, there hasn’t been many anglers fishing. The few that have gone out are reporting a very poor crappie and walleye bite.<

HACKENSACK AREA

The shorelines and main-lake ice was still favorable early in the week. Ice fishing was still an option, but there hasn’t been a lot of people out. The best reports are coming off Birch Lake and Pleasant Lake where crappies are being found suspended over 15 feet during the evening hours. Sunfish also are being caught on Lake Inguadona in six to 10 feet.<

LAKE OSAKIS AREA

Anglers were still walking on the north end of Lake Osakis as of Tuesday morning, but the shorelines could limit that by this weekend. If you can get on, work the north end and battle Point areas for sunfish and crappies in 10 to 16 feet. The shallow, weeded areas of Maple Lake also should continue to produce panfish as long as ice conditions allow access.<

LAKE VERMILION AREA

You have do some sorting, but crappies were hitting waxworms on the north arm of Elbow Lake. The deep hole in Wolf Bay on Lake Vermilion is giving up crappies, most of which remain suspended. Ice conditions should remain favorable for fishing at least through this weekend. Most shorelines are intact and the main-lake ice is reported as solid.<

MANKATO AREA

The ice has been off most lakes for two weeks. The cool weather seems to have limited most open-water panfish action. When the sun peaks out and it warms up for a day or two a few fish have been caught. Look to the bays or channel areas of Madison?Lake and Lake Washington as likely spots for shoreline fishing opportunities.<

ORTONVILLE AREA

The first mile of Big Stone Lake is wide open. There’s also a lot of pockets or holes of open water throughout the lake. With some wind or warm weather, open water shouldn’t be a problem for next weekend’s MN/SD border water opener.<

PARK RAPIDS AREA

Ice conditions vary, but most shorelines continued to allow walking or limited ATV access early in the week. Only a handful of anglers continues to fish with some reports coming off Straight Lake for bluegills in eight feet. There’s also some evening crappie action reported off Fish Hook Lake in 14 feet.<

RED LAKE

There’s no problem getting on the ice. The shorelines are in good shape and vehicles were still being used as of Tuesday morning. As for the bite, there just hasn’t been a lot of crappie action reported. Most people that continue to go out are not finding any numbers of fish and occasionally stumble across the stray crappie.<

RED WING AREA

The bite on the Mississippi River is improving. Water temperatures were around 40 degrees early in the week so a few more days of sun and warmth should really kick the walleye bite into high gear. An occasional big walleye is caught and a lot of good-sized saugers have been taken on hair jigs and minnows with a few being caught on plastics. Work 12 to 18 feet around Hay Creek, Baypoint Park, Covill Park, and the dam area.<

REMER AREA

There hasn’t been a lot of ice fishing activity although the shorelines and main-lake ice is still very good. Walking out should not be a problem by this weekend and on lakes where the accesses are not exposed to the sun, ATVs were still being used. Call ahead for changing shoreline conditions heading into this weekend.<

ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA

The ice fishing season has ended. There’s still quite a bit of main- lake ice throughout the area, but most shorelines and channel areas have now opened. There hasn’t been any open-water action reported, but that could change with a few days of warm weather.<

SAUK CENTRE AREA

Anglers were still ice fishing last weekend, but the shorelines on many lakes have started to pull away. With a forecast calling for warm weather during the week, look for the channels and bays to open on many lakes. A few days of sunshine could spark the first open-water action in these open areas.<

STARBUCK AREA

The ice fishing season has ended and by this weekend most bays and boat harbors should be completely ice-free. A few anglers have started fishing open water on Lake Minnewaska with no success. The Starbuck Marina and Fish Hatchery Bay on the Glenwood end of Minnewaska should be the first spots to check.<

WATERVILLE AREA

When the sun is out, a few crappies and perch are caught in the lagoon of Lake Tetonka. With the ice being off most lakes for the past couple of weeks anglers are expecting the shallow, open-water bite to improve quickly as soon as the weather warms.<

WILLMAR AREA

The small, shallow lakes or those fisheries with moving water have started to open. There’s still quite a bit of ice on the big lakes and any amount of wind or warm weather should quickly eliminate the ice that remains. Check the bays and channel areas on the small lakes soon for panfish.

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