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Minnesota Fishing Reports
News : Explore Minnesota Fishing Report
Posted by LSF on Feb 12, 2010 (1957 reads) News by the same author

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls
On Rainy Lake, new ice roads have been opened, giving anglers greater access to areas east of Black Bay. While anglers are pulling quite a few walleye through the ice, they are taking mostly small fish. Crappies have been hitting harder than normal and the best rig has been a small jig tipped with a small minnow or minnow head. Areas around Birch Point and the American Narrows continue to be popular. For northern pike, hit Black Bay and the narrows in this area. Area snowmobile trails are in mostly good shape, and the groomers are operating on a regular schedule. To learn more, dial 1-800-325-5766, or visit

Anglers are having lots of success this week, and are also enjoying the pleasant weather conditions. Walleyes are providing much of the action in various areas of the lakes, with fish taken from the west end of Lake Kabetogama all the way over to Lake Namakan. Many popular summer reef edges are holding baitfish which are attracting walleyes and northern pike. The best depth ranges from 26-40 feet, depending on the time of day and light conditions. A light jig such as an eye drop or tear drop tipped with live bait or a minnow head has been productive. Anglers are also having success using a small glow jig. Northern pike can be found in both the shallow and deep waters, along with an occasional perch. For the most fish, hit the water early in the morning and during late afternoon into early evening. There is some slush out on the ice, but travel by vehicle or sled remains good. Snowmobile trails on the lake surfaces are in good condition, and the land trails are in very good condition. For more information, dial 1-800-524-9085, or check out

Walleye action has been good, with two walleyes taken last weekend that weighed over ten pounds each. Shagawa Lake has been a hot spot, with good numbers coming in on minnows under a slip bobber, and on chubby darters and buckshot spoons fished in 12-20 feet of water. Crappie action remains slow, with a few decent fish coming out of Farm, Twin and Low lakes. The best approach has been a jig tipped with small minnow. Some nice northern pike are being pulled out of Shagawa and Fall lakes. Some anglers are doing well pre-fishing on Fall Lake for the upcoming Ely Winton Rod and Gun Club Fishing Tournament to be held Saturday, February 20. Try a medium sucker under a bobber for these fish. There are actually two fishing contests in Ely on February 20: The Ely Winton Rod and Gun Club contest on Fall Lake, and the Vermilion Community College Law Enforcement's contest at Sandy Point on Shagawa Lake. Lots of great prizes to be given away! To learn more, dial 1-800-777-7281, or visit

Cook & Tower/Lake Vermilion
The nice stretch of weather has allowed anglers to get around on Lake Vermilion, and test lots of holes. Most of the fish being reported are northern pike, and they have been very hungry. Walleyes are being taken, but have not been as easy a catch. As winter continues, look to the deeper holes, humps and breaks for the walleyes, especially during the last hour of light. Rainbows and splake continue to be pulled from the area pits and ponds, especially on east towards Ely and beyond. Snow and ice conditions remain excellent. This Saturday, February 13, is the 2nd Annual Lake Vermilion Fishing Contest, with lots of cash prizes and door prizes to be given away. In addition, enjoy the a Lake Vermilion Fishing Gear Extravaganza with a wide array of new and used fishing equipment for sale. 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. Anglers have seen nice limits of keeper-size walleyes coming from the Northwest Angle and Islands area. Catches include some larger fish measuring 20- to 23-inches. The best tackle has been gold, chartreuse, and pink and white jigs tipped with a chub minnow. There is 30 inches of ice in this area. On the main lake, at the South Shore, lots of fish continue to be taken west of Pine Island and north of Gracton/Zippel Bay in 32-36 feet of water. Anything that glows is working well when tipped with a minnow. Nice eating-size fish, as well as a few trophy-size walleyes, are coming through the ice . One angler reported a nice 29 1/2-inch walleyes just last week. Another group of houses have been placed over the deeper water, and farther out to the north. The fishing is really starting to heat up at the reefs, especially at Three Sisters and Knight Island, roughly 21 miles north. Again, many trophies are coming through the ice! Area snowmobile trails are groomed and in great shape! To learn more, dial 1-800-382-FISH, or visit

Walker/Leech Lake
On Leech Lake, ice conditions remain great, and spearing for northern pike has been excellent! Various lakes throughout the area have ice measuring 19-22 inches, including Walker Bay on Leech Lake which has 19-20 inches of ice. It is still important to check ice conditions along the way. Fishing remains strong, with lots of anglers catching walleyes during evening and twilight hours. The morning hours, just after first light, seemed to be best this past weekend, especially at the deep, mid-lake humps in Walker Bay. Anglers that were out spearing or using tip-ups to catch northern pike did very well last Sunday. One northern speared by a fish house rental customer last weekend was just over 40-inches in length. The fish was taken on a live sucker chub. And, lots of anglers caught those prize eelpout last weekend, and these will be prize fish during the weekend of February 19-21 during Walker's 31st Annual International Eelpout Festival! For more information, dial 1-800-833-1118, or visit

Detroit Lakes
Although walleye action has slowed somewhat, a few fish are coming out of Big Detroit, Sallie, and Melissa lakes in 20-24 feet of water during low-light periods. Look for sunnies and crappies to be most active in depths of 12-25 feet on Little Detroit, Floyd, Deadshot Bay, and Melissa lakes. Northern pike remain very active and an easy catch for anglers using tip-ups and minnows on most area lakes - the best depth has been 12-16 feet. Dial 1-800- 542-3992, or check out for more information.

Central Region

Brainerd Lakes Area
Walleyes continue to bite in both the shallow and deep water depending on the time of day. Fish are being pulled from Whitefish, Pelican and Cross lakes on shiner minnows bobber fished or jigged with a rattle spoon. Anglers are also picking up whitefish when fishing for walleyes on Whitefish Lake, especially in 45 feet of water. Trout Lake is giving up a few trout this week - check the deeper water for the most fish. Northern pike continue to hit pike minnows in depths of 12-18 feet. Crappies and sunnies are hitting minnows, waxworms and Eurolarva on small glow jigs. Most fish have been found suspended in 16-24 feet of water. To learn more, dial 1-800-450-2838, or visit

Willmar Area Lakes
Many anglers have stayed off of area lakes due to the 6-12 inches of new snowfall that has accumulated on the ice. Access to area lakes should become better by this Saturday and Sunday as paths will be made on area lakes. Just some of the lakes to check out are Eagle and Norway lakes, which are typically first to have paths on the ice. To learn more, dial 1-800-845-8747, or visit

Isle/Onamia/Lake Mille Lacs
On Lake Mille Lacs, walleyes remain tight-lipped in the shallow and mid-depth waters. The deep basin areas have been best, and anglers searching for perch and walleyes should check these first. Remain mobile, and check areas that are out aways from the structure of the flats. Also try to find areas that hold fewer baitfish, and if a cloud of forage is visible, move elsewhere. Be sure to bring along some larger lures. For more information, dial 1-888-350-2692, or check out

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

On Lake Waconia, northern pike continue to be very aggressive, with nice-size fish coming in! There have been consistent reports of large pike taken by tip-up anglers. Areas that are producing best have been this year's hot spots, such as Center Reef, Pillsbury Reef, Waconia Bay, and Wagner's Bay. Most fish can be found in, or near, the weeds. A sucker minnow set in 9-15 feet of water remains the best bet. While the crappie bite has been fair, it has definitely picked up when compared to previous weeks. The key seems to be times prior to weather fronts, with the action before a weather change being notable. The fish have not yet moved to deeper waters, and can be found at the weed edges. Waxworms and Eurolarvae are sometimes out-performing minnows, so don't be afraid to leave the worms on after dark. For further information, dial 952/442-5812, or check out

Southern Minnesota

The streams are in excellent condition. Midges have been coming out, and the trout have been feeding on them. Fisheries officials have even witnessed these hungry trout. The best time to fish has been around noon when temperatures have been climbing and the trout seem to become most active. To learn which rivers and creeks are producing fish, dial 1-800-944-2670, or visit

Report courtesy of Explore Minnesota Tourism

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