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Minnesota Fishing Reports
News : Explore Minnesota Fishing Report
Posted by LSF on Feb 05, 2010 (986 reads) News by the same author

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls
Rainy Lake ice anglers are concentrating on areas to the east and having fairly good success. Walleye are being taken near Steamboat Island and the mouth of Cranberry Bay in roughly 30 feet of water. Walleye are still active in Sand Bay as well. More roads have been opened and anglers are checking out areas with different types of structure. The bite has been best towards and at dusk, with a jig and minnow combination working best. Some large northern pike are being pulled through the ice near Rainy Lake City. For the largest northerns use a large minnow. Crappie actions has been sporadic, but when you locate these fish your chance of catching some nice-sized crappies is good. Snowmobile trails are in fairly good condition throughout the area, and groomers are operating on a regular schedule. To learn more, dial 1-800-325-5766, or visit

On Lakes Kabetogama and Namakan, more moderate temperatures brough out the anglers this past week, but the northern pike and walleye anglers caught fewer fish than expected.
Walleye anglers had the best success during early evening hours, as well as just after dark. The best approach was either a glow jig and minnow combination, or a light ball head jig tipped with a minnow head. Pike anglers took some fish when spearing and when using a tip-up with a small sucker minnow. Crappies remain elusive, but the month of March often offers the best crappie fishing. At present, try fishing at some of your favorite late summer reefs, especially in depths of 30-38 feet. Many of the lake trails are groomed and offer great access to various areas of the lakes. Land trails are also in excellent condition. For more information, dial 1-800-524-9085, or check out

Trout action has been consistently good, with lake trout getting the most attention. Nice numbers of lake trout in the three- to six-pound range are coming out of Snowbank and Burntside lakes, along with an occasional large fish weighing up to eighteen-pounds. Snowbank anglers are doing best using airplane jigs tipped with a ciscoe, or hanging a ciscoe on a tip-up. On Burntside Lake, white tube jigs and chubby darters are the tackle of choice. Rainbow trout are being pulled from Miners, Tofte, and the Glacier ponds, with fish up to twenty-inches being reported. Most, however, measure roughly one foot. Those traveling a bit further are taking lots of brook trout and splake from High and Dry lakes. The crappie bite remains steady on Farm, Garden, Bass, and Low lakes. Crappie minnows are producing the most fish when either fished under a slip bobber or used with a small green and white or pink jig. Anglers are taking a few walleye after dark on Shagawa and Fall lakes. For the most fish, use a buckshot spoon or small perch-colored jig tipped with a minnow head. To learn more, dial 1-800-777-7281, or visit

Cook & Tower/Lake Vermilion
On Lake Vermilion, walleye action remains decent and the reports coming from both sides of the lake are about the same. For the most fish, try a rainbow or pike sucker on a glow jig worked in 16-22 feet of water during low light hours. Northern Pike action has been excellent, with some nice sized fish being taken by spearers and pulled through the ice on sucker minnows. Conditions are as good as they get for lake travel and only a couple of weeks remain to chase these game fish, so now is the time to head out! Sunnies are out-numbering the more reclusive crappies. Rainbows are being pulled from area pits and designated trout ponds and lakes. The best approach is to keep your bait active and your lures flashy. Area snow depth measures roughly 14 inches, and the ice ranges from 18-24 inches thick. To find out more, dial 1-800-648-5897, or check out

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette/Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
On Lake of the Woods, ice depth measures roughly 28-inches. Lots of walleye and sauger are being reported. The walleye range from 16- to 18-inches, and most sauger have also been larger than average. These fish seem to be hitting anything that glows and remains shiny in depths of 32-34 feet of water. While many resorts are pulling their houses further north towards the reefs, many remain west of Pine Island, Morris Point and north of Zippel Bay. Most parties are taking their limits, while also releasing some walleyes measuring 21- to 27-inches. One angler recently landed a 12 1/2-inch jumbo perch. At the Northwest Angle and Islands area, the ice measures 30 inches thick. Lots of 17- to 19-inch walleyes are biting in 25 feet of water. Many large perch are also coming through the holes. To learn more, dial 1-800-382-FISH, or visit

The Bemidji area has recently hit with another snowstorm, and the heavy snow and large drifts on the ice are limiting some anglers' access to the lakes. Anglers can still access most areas by snowmobile or track vehicle, but those using cars and trucks are sticking to the plowed ice roads and trails. Walleye and perch action is picking up on most of the larger lakes such as Bemidji, Winnibigoshish and Pike's Bay. Most of the action has been in deep water, with walleyes feeding during morning and evening hours, and the perch active in many of the same areas during the day. Crappie fishing is improving on many of the smaller lakes, with fish feeding over muddy bottoms in the deeper waters. Depending on the lake, there may also be perch and sunfish using the same areas, but at different times of the day or night. For crappies, use a small minnow, plastics, or small jigs tipped with a waxworm or Eurolarvae. Anglers should use sonar to locate fish since crappies feed at or above eye level, otherwise experiment with a bobber rig to find the right depth. Perch are coming in on smaller walleye tackle such as jigging spoons, dropper rigs, plastics, or jigging spoons tipped with a minnow head. For lots of sunfish, use a tiny bait on light test line. The best approach for the larger sunfish seems to be a small jig tipped with a waxworm or several Eurolarvae. For further information, dial 1-800-458-2223, or check out

Walker/Leech Lake
Areas of Walker Bay on Leech Lake have at least 16 inches of ice. The ice thickness on several of the smaller area lakes have 18-21 inches. It is important that anglers still verify ice thickness before venturing out, especially by car or truck. Most areas of slush on Walker Bay are now minimal. Last weekend, lots of walleye action was reported. Many anglers caught and released lots of young walleyes in the 9-11 inch range, kept quite a few walleye measuring 14-18 inches size, and released lots of slot-sized fish. The largest walleye reported was 29-inches. Over the past two weekends, the largest walleyes caught were taken on rattle wheels and tip-ups located just outside of their fish houses. Many anglers are jigging with minnow heads and catching lots of slot-sized and smaller walleye. For the largest fish, use a whole, lively shiner or fathead hooked in front of the dorsal fin. For more information, dial 1-800-833-1118, or visit

Detroit Lakes
While the rain and wind made fishing tough last weekend, lots of panfish were pulled from 12-18 feet of water on Melissa, Deadshot Bay, Floyd, and Prairie lakes. Anglers also reported a spurt of walleye action early and late in the day in depths of 18-22 feet on Sallie, Big Detroit, and Melissa lakes. Tip-ups and sucker minnows or spearing has been productive for northern pike in the shallows of most lakes. The Annual Polar Fest in Detroit Lakes will feature a youth fishing derby on Saturday, February 13 at the Little Detroit Lake public access near the beach. Held 10:30 am to noon, this event is free. And, the Jaycees will offer hot turkey legs and hot drinks under their tent. Dial 1-800- 542-3992, or check out for more information on the Detroit Lakes Polar Fest, lodging options, and fishing throughout the area.

Central Region

To find out where the fish are biting, dial 1-877-833-2350, or visit

[b]Brainerd Lakes Area

Walleye action continues to be good, with anglers reporting a decent evening bite on most lakes. The best approach has been a shiner minnow under a bobber or jigged on a rattle spoon. There have also been a few tullibees taken along with the walleye. Trout anglers are finding fish in 45 feet of water and deeper - shiner minnows or fatheads jigged at these depths should produce some fish. The crappie bite remains slow, despite lots of fish being seen and marked. For crappies, try a minnow or waxworm on a small jig. Northern action remains strong, with large pike minnows on tip-ups working well in depths of 10-16 feet. To learn more, dial 1-800-450-2838, or visit

Willmar Area Lakes
Area lakes have 18-25 inches of ice, with Eagle, Norway, and Green lakes having the best cleared paths and roads on the ice. Eagle and Green lakes have been producing some nice crappies and walleye. Other lakes to check out include lakes Willmar, Foot, Florida and Andrew. The temperatures forecasted for this weekend should allow for some great fishing conditions. To learn more, dial 1-800-845-8747, or visit

Isle/Onamia/Lake Mille Lacs
The weekend forecast looks very promising for some great fishing. The deeper waters have been best for mobile anglers, but the key is to fish outside the structure off the flats in the basin areas. Anglers are beginning to report some perch action, with some large fish being taken. For more information, dial 1-888-350-2692, or check out

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

On Lake Waconia, the cold temperatures earlier this week have caused the lake ice to firm up nicely. The roads are bumpy in spots, but definitely manageable. Anglers can even travel off the road on the main lake as long as they stay out of the old abandoned roads and paths. Last week, anglers using tip-ups reported good numbers of northern pike. The best locations were Waconia Bay, Center Reef, Nelson's Flats, and the area north of Pillsbury Reef. Anglers took the majority of fish from 10-15 feet of water, near or in the weeds. Sucker minnows were the bait of choice, with many anglers doing well with a tip-up rig and plain hook. For further information, dial 952/442-5812, or check out

Report courtesy of Explore Minnesota

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