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Minnesota Fishing Reports
News : Explore Minnesota Fishing Report
Posted by LSF on Jan 08, 2010 (1216 reads) News by the same author

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls
Walleye fishing has been very good early and late in the day, and fairly good during the rest of the day. Anglers are having the most success jigging with a shiner minnow. While a variety of depths are working, anglers with fish houses in set locations of Sand Bay are taking fish. The best bet is to use portable gear. Anglers are also reporting a good crappie bite later in the day. And, area snowmobile trails are in good condition, except for those on the west half of the Birchdale Connection - groomers hope to work on these at the end of this week. Voyageurs National Park trails to Kabetogama, Ash River and Crane Lake are open, with most cross-country ski and snowshoe trails also open and tracked. For more information, dial 1-800-325-5766, or visit

Anglers have had a tough week, battling the cold while taking only a few walleyes. Those that did take fish were using chubs on small glow jigs, mostly late in the afternoon, especially in 28-35 feet of water. The reef edges and bay entrances with current are holding most of the fish. Northern pike anglers have had some difficulty with both spearing and angling techniques, however the weekend did produce some nice fish. If conditions stabilize, the crappies may school in their usual winter haunts and be easier to locate. As of last weekend, sleds and four-wheelers were the best mode of travel on Kabetogama - heavier vehicles need to still use caution. Kabetogama, Namakan, Sandpoint and Crane lakes have been staked for snowmobiles by the Park Service, and make a great path to get to and from your fishing spots. Land trails are groomed and provide many miles of great riding! For more information on lakes Kabetogama and Namakan, and the surrounding area, dial 1-800-524-9085, or check out

The abundance of good ice has brought lots of eager ice anglers onto area lakes. Most anglers pursuing walleyes are hitting Shagawa and Fall lakes with moderate success. The fish seem to be moving along the drop offs in depths of 14-25 feet of water. The best approach has been to use one dead stick with a minnow under a slip bobber, while jigging with buckshot spoons or rockers and Swedish pimples tipped with a minnow head. Crappies and sunnies are being pulled from Low, Twin and Cedar lakes. For the most fish, use small jigs tipped with waxworms or Eurolarvae. Area ice is thick and clear, so travel has not a problem. To learn more, dial 1-800-777-7281, or visit

Cook & Tower/Lake Vermilion
Anglers were hesitant to venture out onto the ice due to bitter cold temperatures last weekend. There are reports, however, of a few fish coming out of the East End of Lake Vermilion where most permanent houses are currently set-up. The West End received a bit of action at dusk, but most reports have been fair at best. Anglers will likely be heading out this weekend when more moderate temperatures are expected. There is from 14-17 inches of good, solid ice, along with no reports of slush. Travel has not been a problem, and conditions are perfect for ice fishing. To find out more, dial 1-800-648-5897, or check out

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette/Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
The bite remains steady on Lake of the Woods. Walleyes and sauger are biting in 25-30 feet of water, with a steady bite reported throughout the day. The most successful colors seem to be gold, pink, and silver, but even a plain hook with a minnow is working well. There is currently 18-20 inches of good ice on the lake, with about 16 inches at Four Mile Bay. The ice road out of Wheeler's Point is in great condition. To learn more, dial 1-800-382-FISH, or visit

Walker/Leech Lake
Anglers report catching good numbers of panfish, with an occasional limit of sunnies and crappies coming from some area lakes. The best crappie action has been in 20-30 foot depths, with most fish found suspended 3-8 feet off the bottom. Use electronics to easily locate these slabs. Walleye fishing on Walker Bay of Leech Lake has been excellent. Anglers are catching limits of walleyes, with many of them in the 12- to 14-inch range. Walleyes are being pulled from most areas of Walker Bay, as well as at many of the sunken islands and humps. For the most fish, hit depths of 20-30 feet, with some anglers doing well in depths of 12-19 feet. Ice conditions and fishing opportunities are improving each week. Many of the smaller area lakes have 13-16 inches of good, solid ice. Walker Bay on Leech Lake has from 10-14 inches of good ice. Just north and east of 1st Point, the ice measures just over 10-inches. Recent snowfall has caused some minor flooding in parts of Walker Bay and on many of the smaller area lakes. Cold temperatures earlier this week should help improve conditions and increase the amount of good ice, allowing medium- and large-sized pick-up trucks to access most areas of Walker Bay. For more information, dial 1-800-833-1118, or visit

Central Minnesota

While the walleye action slowed with the recent cold spell, the panfish action actually improved. Sunnies and crappies are biting at any green cabbage or weed patches in 7-12 feet of water. The most productive colors have varied, but overall blue and/or orange have been best. For walleyes, hit depths of 15-18 feet of water using a slip bobber rig with a glow lure and minnow. The ice measures 12-15 inches on average. To find out more, dial 1-877-833-2350, or visit

Pine River Area Lakes
Ice anglers report fair to good activity on most lakes. Ice thickness has increased to at least a foot on most lakes, except in the channel areas. Walleyes are beginning to drop in depth, and are being pulled from 20-30 feet of water on a variety of jig, swim-jig and plain hook presentations tipped with a minnow. As the winter progresses, walleyes begin to take smaller baits on lighter lines, and are slower to bite. Northern pike have been active at the deep edge of the weedlines, with both anglers and spearers reporting a good bite in depths of 10-20 feet. Panfish have been active most days. The sunfish are more active during daylight hours and the crappies seem to prefer early morning or dusk to feed. Successful panfish anglers are using the lightest line and baits possible this time of year, such as an ice fly with a waxworm or small crappie minnow. Florescent orange, yellow or white ice flies have been best for panfish. It's always best to have a wide assortment of colors. For sunfish, hit depths of 10-20 feet, with crappies found suspended in slightly deeper waters. To find out more, dial 1-800-728-6926, or check out

Isle/Onamia/Lake Mille Lacs
Lots of anglers braved the cold, and many went home with walleyes and perch last week. The deeper basin areas were productive for portable fish houses. The night bite was good in 12-18 feet of water. The rentals are ready and warm - come check them out! For more information, dial 1-888-350-2692, or check out

Willmar Area Lakes
Ice travel conditions throughout the area are rapidly improving, but can still be difficult due to 5-6 inches of snow covering the ice. Eagle and Norway lakes offer the best paths on the ice. There was 6-12 inches of ice on most area lakes earlier this week. Anglers report taking some nice fish from Foot, Willmar, Green, Eagle, Florida and Andrew lakes. Use caution, and enjoy some great fishing. To learn more, dial 1-800-845-8747, or visit

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

The walleyes remain hungry despite the cold! Anglers are reporting lots of large walleyes, more than have been reported in a long time! Most are either taking some very nice fish, or know someone who has. The best approach is to be patient and fish at the right time, such early morning and evening hours. Also try to avoid the crowds - a nice network of plowed roads is allowing anglers to spread out. For further information, dial 952/442-5812, or check out

Southern Minnesota

Trout are being taken from area trout streams. Fly anglers are having success using small brassie and orange scud patterns. Please note that there are slush-ice conditions below the Lanesboro dam on the South Branch Root, which prevented effective drifts. To learn more, dial 1-800-944-2670, or visit

Reports courtesy of Explore Minnesota Tourism

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