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Minnesota Fishing Reports
News : Explore Minnesota Fishing Report
Posted by LSF on Jan 22, 2010 (881 reads) News by the same author

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls
Walleyes are hitting jigs tipped with minnows in 30 feet of water around Sand Bay and the American Narrows. Crappies are coming in on jig and minnow combinations as well, with several large northern pike pulled through the ice around Rainy Lake City. Walleye action has been best near sundown. Snowmobile trails are in fairly good condition and the groomers are operating on a regular schedule. There may be some thin patches where trails meet logging operations, but they are short. The Rainy Lake trails in Voyageurs National Park are all open and staked, and area cross country ski and snowshoe trails are open and tracked. To learn more, dial 1-800-325-5766, or visit

The mild weather was kind to ice anglers last weekend, and the fish also cooperated on lakes Kabetogama and Namakan. Anglers reported an impressive bite, especially in the early daylight and late afternoon hours. The best technique for numbers of perch, sauger and walleyes was a small glow jig tipped with a minnow, worked in 30-38 feet of water. Northern pike were scattered at various depths, with fish found roaming throughout 8-25 feet of water. Tip-ups with small suckers worked best for these fish. While crappies remain elusive, anglers should continue to search their typical winter spots. Recent mild temperatures may also increase the bite. Area lake trails are groomed and in good shape. While the land trails are showing some wear, the groomers are keeping them in good condition. There are still some openings at area resorts this winter. For more information, dial 1-800-524-9085, or check out

Last weekend's trout opener went extremely well. Not only were there ideal weather and ice conditions, the anglers pulled in four different species of trout. Miners Lake was really productive, with rainbows up to nineteen inches reported, and a few nice brook trout taken as well. Tofte Lake produced lots of rainbow trout and splake. Snowbank Lake was another great choice, with lake trout up to ten pounds pulled through the ice. The majority of fish were in the three to five pound range which is generally the preferred size for eating. Burntside Lake also lived up to its reputation as a great lake trout producer. Many anglers caught at least a few four to six pound fish, with a few trout weighing up to eleven pounds reported as well. The season is developing into one of the best in years. To learn more, dial 1-800-777-7281, or visit

Cook & Tower/Lake Vermilion
Warmer temperatures have brought out the ice anglers, and favorable conditions have allowed them to access their favorite fishing holes. The walleyes are cooperating to an extent, but are not jumping out of the water and onto the ice. Anglers will need to have some patience. Low light morning and evening hours have been best, especially in 18-24 feet of water. Panfish have finally made their way into Larson's Bay - for lots of fish, use a waxworm and ant combination. A few good-size northern pike were recently taken by spearers. Ice thickness ranges from 16-20 inches, with a nice hard base and no slush. To find out more, dial 1-800-648-5897, or check out

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette/Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
Fishing remains excellent on Lake of the Woods. The fish houses have been moved over deeper waters, and anglers are fishing over 32 foot depths, roughly five miles out. Slot fish are abundant and many nice eating-size walleye are coming in. Typical sizes range from 15-18 inches for the walleyes, and 12-15 inches for the saugers. The bite has been consistent from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Ice depth averages 21-inches, and the snow cover has diminished on the lake. The ice roads have been maintained and continue to be in great shape. Fish house anglers are seeing up to 40 fish a day, along with some nice-size northern pike, sturgeon and trophy perch. In the Rainy River, walleyes seem to be in the deeper depths. The best bite is during evening hours. Anglers have been able to fish outside of their houses during the recent warm temperatures, and are working areas down to 20 feet. The Islands and general Northwest Angle area have 20 inches of ice, with good numbers of fish coming through. The best approach has been a glowing jig tipped with a minnow and worked in 20-30 feet of water. To learn more, dial 1-800-382-FISH, or visit

Walker/Leech Lake
Now is the time to get out for some great ice fishing action! The ice thickness on Leech Lake's Walker Bay continues to improve, with measurements of 14-15 inches in some areas. A few of the smaller area lakes have ice measuring 14-18 inches. Anglers are now driving almost everywhere on these smaller lakes. New areas of slush have developed on top of the ice, especially in areas out in the middle of Walker Bay. Most panfish anglers are catching their limits each day, and the crappie action has been especially good. The sunfish have been on the smaller side, so anglers are having to do some catch and release in between all of the activity! Most of the Walker Bay anglers are catching walleyes, especially from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. One angler reported great success early this week when fishing over 20-30 feet of water. Over the weekend, depths of 36-42 feet over the mid-lake humps were the most productive. For more information, dial 1-800-833-1118, or visit

Central Region

The panifsh bite has picked up with the recent warm temperatures. Anglers are reporting lots of panfish coming from 7-12 feet of water, with the crappies typically found in depths of 10-12 feet. For the most fish, use green- or orange-colored tackle tipped with maggots or crappie minnows. Walleye action has slowed somewhat, but fish can still be found during low light hours. The best depths have been 15-18 feet. Most anglers have been driving out onto the ice, which measures 12-15 inches. To find out more, dial 1-877-833-2350, or visit

Brainerd Lakes Area
Anglers did well during last weekend's trout opener, with fish pulled from 30 feet of water on shiner minnows jigged with spoons. A couple of nice 4- to 5-pound fish were reported. Walleye anglers continue to do well in shallower depths during the day, and in deeper waters ranging from 28-34 feet at night. Don't be surprised if you pull up a whitefish as well. For the most fish, use golden shiners or rainbow minnows under a bobber - northland rattle spoons tipped with a piece of minnow are also working well. Pelican, Crosslake and Whitefish lakes are all producing. The crappie bite has been veyr light, and the fish have been most active at dusk. Try a small glow jig tipped with a waxworm or minnow in 12-16 feet of water on most lakes. Northern pike anglers are taking good numbers of fish when using tip-ups and pike minnows around the points and weedlines. To learn more, dial 1-800-450-2838, or visit

Isle/Onamia/Lake Mille Lacs
This weekend, Lake Mille Lacs anglers should check out the deep water near the mud flats in search of areas that hold the least baitfish. If you find yourself in an area where baitfish are abundant, you should move. To learn which technique works best, try extreme approaches - use a large minnow on one line, and a waxworm or larvae on the second. Ice conditions are reported to be good, but anyone venturing out onto the ice should still call ahead for the most current conditions. The rentals are ready and warm - check them out! For more information, dial 1-888-350-2692, or check out

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

Recent warm temperatures seem to have increased the fishing action on Lake Waconia. Sunfish have been more active, with some good-size sunnies recently taken. Fish have been active around Center and Pillsbury reefs, with some nice catches also coming from areas further to the north. Some anglers are doing well in waters as shallow as 9 feet, but the best depth still seems to be 11-14 feet. Crappie action continues to improve, however it is still not up to the standards normally seen. Most anglers continue to fish near the weeds in 12-14 feet of water near Pillsbury and Center reefs, but the action has been inconsistent - consider moving to the deeper side of Pillsbury Reef, and look for fish to be suspended 5 or more feet off the bottom in 20-25 feet of water. Walleye reports have been good, with quite a few measuring 16- 29-inches and the largest weighing 8-pounds, 9-ounces. Both shiner minnows and fatheads have been working well, so it is recommended that you come equipped with both. North, Kegs, Anderson's and Cemetery reefs have all been good spots when trying to avoid the crowds, with 13-18 feet of water producing the most fish. The northern pike bite has improved this year, but anglers are having to be patient. For the most fish, use a sucker minnow, especially at Center and Pillsbury reefs. This week's largest pike measured 39-inches and weighed 16 pounds. And don't forget about the fish house rentals, with pre-drilled holes and the heat already turned on! For further information, dial 952/442-5812, or check out

Southern Minnesota

The light amount of rain falling on January 22 has not affected stream turbidity, at least not yet. Rain showers are predicted for Saturday and/or Sunday, January 23 & 24. This has the tendency to cool water temperatures slightly. Anglers have reported catching some really nice brown trout, some measuring over 20 inches, on flash-back hare's ear nymphs. The southeast Minnesota stream conditions update per the Lanesboro Fisheries Office as of January 22 indicates clear and low conditions for the East Beaver Creek at Beaver Creek Valley State Park, at Camp Creek, Duschee Creek, and the South Branch of the Root River at Lanesboro. To learn more, dial 1-800-944-2670, or visit

Report courtesy of Explore Minnesota Tourism

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