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Minnesota Fishing Reports
News : Explore Minnesota Fishing Report
Posted by LSF on Mar 01, 2010 (1410 reads) News by the same author

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls
On Rainy Lake, walleye are hitting jigs and minnows in roughly 30 feet of water in Sand Bay, and a little deeper further east near the American Narrows. The new Park Service ice road has opened a large area around Dryweed Island, and anglers with portable gear are doing well at this newly accessible structure. Large northern pike are being taken near the mouths of bays in depths of roughly 15 feet, especially when a large minnow if offered. The crappie action remains sporadic, mostly in Sand Bay. 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

The crappie bite, although in it's early stages, has been fairly good with anglers taking at least a few nice slabs home for dinner. East Twin, Farm, Garden, and Fall lakes have all been giving up some nice crappies in the 10- to 12-inch range, with a few measuring 14- to 15-inches. For the most fish, use the smallest minnow in the bucket on a small silver or white jig fished near the bottom in 21-30 feet of water. The lake trout bite has been exceptional, with some anglers taking huge trout, while others have been pleased with a few eating size trout weighing 3- to 6-pounds. Anglers having the most success are using ciscoes fished on the bottom, with some anglers taking actively feeding trout on baits jigged in the upper third of the water column. Late season northern pike fishing has been great on Shagawa and Birch lakes, but don't overlook the smaller lakes such as Armstrong, Garden, and Johnson. Many anglers are having luck using tip-ups with a sucker minnow suspended about halfway down in 10-15 feet of water - others are doing well by hole hopping using large bucktails and spoons. Walleyes have been slow to respond, but at least a couple fish can be counted on when using small jigging spoons tipped with a minnow head. Depths of 15-20 feet have been best. It's been a great time to be outdoors up north in the Ely vicinity! To learn more, dial 1-800-777-7281, or visit

Cook & Tower/Lake Vermilion[b]
On Lake Vermilion, walleye are being pulled from the base of the sharp breaks in 26-34 feet of water during the day - during late afternoon hours until dark hit depths in the teens. Large northern pike are roaming the rock piles in the large bays, while the snakes can be found in the shallow, muddy bays. When the game fish season takes a break, anglers will turn their attention to jumbo perch. At this point, downsize your gear, stay mobile and enjoy the great action. And, it won't be long until the crappie bite takes off in the larger area lakes. To find out more, dial 1-800-648-5897, or check out

[b]Northwest Minnesota

Baudette/Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
February weather and fishing action remains excellent on Lake of the Woods. There is roughly 28-32 inches of ice on the lake. Many fish are suspended this time of year, so radar can be very useful. The afternoon bite has been good, and a consistent jigging technique has been successful. For the most fish, use a glow red/pink or gold jig. Fishing on the Reefs has slowed somewhat, with one ice shack on fire while anglers in the next shack may be enjoying some quiet times. The South Shore remains a hot spot. Anglers are taking good numbers of walleye from roughly 33 feet of water, with a few sauger also coming in. To learn more, dial 1-800-382-FISH, or visit

Anglers are allowed to continue fishing for perch, crappies, sunfish, whitefish, eelpout and other non-gamefish species after the gamefish season closes at the end of the day, February 28. Fish should stay in their winter patterns until the snow begins to melt and fresh water starts to run into the lakes, which will help rejuvenate the shallows and trigger fish movement under the ice. Most of the walleye action has been during morning and evening hours when these fish move to the structure to feed on perch, shiners and other baitfish species. Perch havebeen active on the sides of the structure, where they can hunt for a mixture of insects, minnows and crayfish. Lakes such as Winnibigoshish, Cass, Pike's Bay and Bemidji are giving up perch in 28-35 feet of water. Crappie action has been best in 25-45 feet of water, depending on the lake. Crappies can be found suspended well off of the bottom, so anglers should pay close attention to their electronics to where to set their bait. Sunfish can be found in many of the same lakes as the crappies, only much closer to the bottom in the shallower water. For more information, dial 1-800-458-2223, or check out

Walker/Leech Lake
Last weekend's 31st Annual Eelpout Festival was a great success! Many elusive eelpout were caught and registered. Quite a few walleyes were taken as well. Ice thickness on most area lakes averages 21-28 inches, however there were several locations on two area lakes that had slush, including at Walker Bay on Leech Lake. This is the last weekend to catch game fish until May 15, 2010. The walleye continue to bite, so this is a great time to do some ice fishing. Please note that anyone venturing out should use caution and check the ice before driving in unfamiliar territory. For more information, dial 1-800-833-1118, or visit

Central Region

Pine River Area Lakes
As temperatures warm, panfish and perch become increasingly active, and late season panfish action is beginning to really heat up! For the most fish, use very light line and change colors of ice flies until you find the right combination. Panfish tend to be deeper during daylight hours, and move into the shallower waters during early morning and late afternoon hours. Perch anglers will find fish in depths of up to thirty feet of water on area lakes that reach that depth. Please use caution and be aware of deteriorating ice conditions as spring approaches, especially around the channels. Overall, it has been a very good ice fishing season in the Pine River area. Permanent ice fishing houses are to be removed by then end of the day, February 28, and Pine River area ice anglers are starting to pull their houses off the lakes. After February 28, anglers may use a house on the ice if they remove it daily. To learn more, dial 1-800-728-6926, or check out

Willmar Area Lakes
Perch and walleye anglers are having success on Eagle Lake. Green Lake is producing some nice-size crappies and walleyes, with fish also being pulled from Lakes Florida and Norway. Ice roads and paths have been created on area lakes, allowing good access to the many fishing hot spots. It is looking like it will be a nice weekend with warmer temperatures - perfect for fishing and enjoying the outdoors. To learn more, dial 1-800-845-8747, or visit

Isle/Onamia/Lake Mille Lacs
On Lake Mille Lacs, walleye fishing has been a challenge, which is typical for this time of year. Anglers having the most success are fishing the deeper waters. Perch reports have been scattered, however anglers are taking fish from the deep basin areas, as well as the bays, where it seems a pattern is developing. For more information, dial 1-888-350-2692, or check out

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity

On Lake Waconia, a good crappie bite is being reported at various times of the day. Some days it's been best between 5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and other days most fish are being taken from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Crappies are coming from depths of 10-14 feet. Daytime anglers are doing well with the sunfish - with some patience, you'll take some nice keepers after doing some sorting. The best action has been in 8 -14 feet of water. The best locations have been in the areas around Center Reef, Pillsbury Reef, and on to the north. Waconia Bay is also a good bet this time of year. Northern pike remain active, with small and medium sucker minnows working best. You'll find these fish in areas where the sunnies and crappies can be found. Walleye anglers are also needing to practice patience, with those having the most success fishing overnight into early morning hours. Nelson's Flats and the North Reef are areas worth checking out. For further information, dial 952/442-5812, or check out

Southern Minnesota

Area streams are in excellent condition. Fisheries officers report the emergence of blue-winged olives, black stone flies, and numerous midges which are hatching on many area streams. The best time to fish has been during afternoon hours when water temperatures are at their highest. As of February 22, steams that were reported to have clear and low conditions included East Beaver Creek within Beaver Creek Valley State Park, Camp Creek, Duschee Creek, the South Branch of the Root River at Lanesboro, and the South Fork of the Root River. To learn which rivers and creeks are producing the most fish, dial 1-800-944-2670, or visit

Report courtesy of Explore Minnesota Tourism

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