Minnesota Fish Tales Fishing Report
The Most In-Depth Statewide Fishing Report in Minnesota!
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- Ben's Bait & Tackle
Bennet or Craig Stich, Junction of Hwy 78 and 210 (218-864-5596)
4-15- For sunfish, try Fish, West Battle and Stalker lakes in about 10-12 feet of water. For crappies, your best bet is West Battle in about 18-25 feet of water. Clitherall anglers report a good tullibie bite in about 30 feet of water.
- Veire's Mini-Mart
Dave, 117 E Benton St, corner of Hwy 75 and 14 (507-368-4204)
Please call Dave for a fishing report!
- Timberline Sport & Tackle
Carl Adams, Junction of Hwy 71 and Blackduck Lake Rd. (218-835-4636)
4-15- Try Blackduck for some perch, crappies and sunnies in 10-15 feet of water. Gull Lake is also producing some panfish action in 15 feet of water. Give us a call for current conditions.
- Leisure Outdoor Adventures - www.leisureoutdooradventures.com
Jason Freed, Toby Kvalevog, Jeff Andersen (1-855-LOA-HOOK or 1-855-562-4665)
Anglers in the area have found the panfishing this year to be very good on many other smaller lakes. Areas to concentrate on for these lakes are the deeper basins or along breaklines with vegetation close by. Smaller tungsten jigs and jigging spoons tipped with a plastic or waxworm is a safe bet any time during the winter for these fish.
- Minnesota Fishing Guide Service
www.minnesotaguideservice.com - www.minnesotaicefishhouserental.com
Captain Josh Hagemeister (218-732-9919, 320-291-0708)
The spring late ice bite has started. Sunfish and crappies are eating like crazy right now trying to nourish developing eggs. Look for them suspended on steeper drop offs just outside the shallow spawning bays they will be eating in when the ice is gone. Tiny jigs tipped with micro plastics or waxworms will catch about any fish at this point in the game. Crappie minnows will work as well, but are more time consuming than they are worth. Focus on the 12-25 foot depth ranges to start with and as the ice finally tarts to leave the shoreline look to shallower water in the 2-5 foot depth range. As the snow melts on the ice fish just under the bottom of the ice sheet. Lotsa fish! Lotsa Fun!
- Frankie's Live Bait and Marine - www.frankies.net
Brad, Corner of Hwy 8 and CR 77 (651-257-6334)
North and South Lindtrom report some panfish being caught in 10-12 feet of water.Chisago and South Center have also been good bets for some panfish action in the same depths. Please call us for current conditions!
- Marine General - www.marinegeneral.com
1501 London Road, on the edge of Lake Superior (218-724-8833)
4-15 - Lake Superior kamloop bite is going well. Try waxworms or nightcrawlers for the best action. Fish Lake is a good bet for some panfish action in 10-12 feet of water. Give us a call for current weather conditions.
- Babe's Bait and Tackle - BabesBaitEly.com
500 Kawishiwi Trail, Ely, MN, first business on the left as you are entering town of Ely from the west on Hwy 169 (218-365-6930)
Lake trout continue to captivate anglers' attention on Burntside and Snowbank Lakes. A good number of trout have been taken from both in recent weeks, and the action should continue right on through the end of the season on April 1st. Most successful anglers have been bringing fish out of the holes by active jigging, whether it be spoons like Slender Spoons PK's Flutter Fish or Tinglers and Tumblers, and soft plastic jigging lures such as tubes from Gitzit and Berkley, or other soft paddle tail baits. These are active presentations where one must keep the bait moving, and work the water column from bottom to top, with some fish chasing the baits from the very bottom in fifty feet or so, all the way up to just below the ice. For the more laid back angler, a frozen smelt or live, small, sucker fished right on the bottom under a tip-up or dead stick seems to be doing the trick. Crappie anglers are now taking to the ice as well as temperatures become more moderate. The weather is important as anglers should stay mobile when fishing crappies, as the schools tend to move around more at this time of season rather than holding in one spot that can be fished from a portable or permanent ice shack. One can use a shack as a place to warm up, but the best way to approach the fish is to be mobile, and drill as many holes as you're comfortable doing. Some folks are having moderate success with the local sunfish populations on lakes like Armstrong, One Pine, Johnson, Low, and East Twin. This action should heat up as well as the season progresses and temps begin to become more comfortable. Small jigs tipped with minnow heads or waxies have been working well.
Swanson's Bait & Tackle - www.swansonsbait.com
Caleb Garoutte, Hwy 371 on the north end of Hackensack (218-675-6176)
4-2-We've been hanging in a weird weather pattern over the last couple weeks and just can't seem to get locked into a late ice rhythm. Travel conditions on the ice are fair, but it keeps bouncing back from slushy to crusty out there which makes things very unpredictable. Lighter ATVs and Snowmobiles seem to be able to make it out consistently over the top, but trucks can be hit and miss getting hung up in the slush pockets. Also it's worth mentioning that this continual thaw/freeze cycle we've been in can really do a number on ice strength so use extreme caution when running out with heavier vehicles.
Fishing has been good despite the marginal conditions. Panfish continue to do well. 'Gills in the mid-depth weedy flats have been pretty consistent. Red spikes and waxies have been outproducing the plastics. Bites go in waves so be ready when action heats up. Crappie have been more catchable suspended over deeper water than those sitting on shallower structure - structure related crappie are catchable, they're just a little more unpredictable.
Tullibee fishing has been hit and miss with the inconsistent weather. We need some warmer temps with some snow melt to get those fired back up again. Access on Leech can be fairly trick so be sure to call around to some of the resorts to check on details.
Jumbo perch have been fired up some days and colder others. Fish are definitely starting to move shallower, but fishermen are still bringing them out of 14-20' also. Minnow heads on rattling spoons are working well, but sometimes the big boys prefer the full minnows so keep mixing it up if the fish get finicky.
- Gateway Store kabfishingreport.com - gatewaygeneral.com
Jason and Robyn Cooper, US Hwy 53 & Co Rd 122, 30 miles south of Int'l Falls-Canadian border (218-875-2121)
4-6- So the wait is on. Not much to report on the fishing front. I have seen a smattering of ice shacks around the lake looking for crappie and perch but it has been pretty quiet. They are hitting the Rainy River but even the fishing there has been tough with cold temps making boat ramps icy, freezing back up and boats not running properly. The season on the border closes on April 14th. I am hoping to get out on the ice in the next few days and see if the perch have turned on. Will update.
Speaking of ice......we still have a lot of it but fortunately not the 50 plus inches like Lake of the Woods! The weather is not cooperating with temps well below freezing day and night. The deer are still using their lake routes to get from one feeding area to another so basically they aren't worried yet! I guess on a positive note most of the snow the last 3 weeks has missed us to the south. That will help once the weather turns. Next week it looks to be warming up into the 40's so hopefully that is the beginning of the big thaw. Keep your fingers crossed! If you want to watch the live ice out you can check out Gateway Generals website. There is a web cam courtesy of Park Point facing E/SE towards Picnic and Ram islands. Yesterday a wolf made an appearance.
Hopefully everyone had a great winter and is ready to turn the corner into spring!
LAKE OF THE WOODS
- Lake of the Woods Area Tourism Bureau - www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com
near Junction of Hwy 11 and Hwy 172 in Baudette, (1-800-382-FISH)
The walleye/sauger season closed April 14th with a bang. Strong numbers of big walleyes caught on the Rainy River this past week. Rainy River setting up very nicely for MN Fishing Opener May 12th as big fish should still be there. Some big fish also caught through the ice adjacent to Pine Island. Reports of larg cracks opening on the lake. Safety first. Ice roads closed to vehicles and are travel at your own risk. Big pike being caught in pre-spawn areas and shallow bays. Live suckers, big smelt, or hot dogs working. Minnows and other legal fish used for bait must be authorized through bait dealers. Auger extensions still needed.
Rainy River sturgeon fishing is hot right now. Many big fish being caught this past week. Finding deeper holes and laying a sturgeon rig (18" leader of 60 lb test with a 5/0 circle hook) with a crawler/shiner mix and a 4-5 ounce no roll sinker is the ticket.
Around the lake, pike being caught in back bays and areas adjacent to spawning areas. Again, safety #1. If venturing on ice, have a partner, take precautions and have necessary safety gear. A complete list of lodging, fishing packages and guides for spring fishing are available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
- Sportsman's Lodges, Lake of the Woods, Rainy River - www.sportsmanslodges.com (1-800-862-8602)
The Rainy River is opening up more by the day and sturgeon fishing is heating up!
We have open water up to a mile or so east of Baudette and open water spots in front of Timbermill landing on the east edge of Baudette. We expect to have open water at our docks within a few days. The weather is warming up.
Sturgeon fishing is heating up. More river holes are opening up by the day.
A few ounce no roll sinker and 4/0 and 5/0 hooks tipped with a gob of minnows and a shiner is a good approach. Guided trips available!
Sturgeon catch and release now Oct 1-April 23 and May 8-15
Keep one within size limits April 24-May 7 and July 1 – Sept 30
Northern Pike open year round
Walleye currently closed, reopening May 12
Lodging starting at only $43* per person per night now through April 23 and up to 20% off Charter Fishing packages May 12-23.
Book your trip today. Click here or call 800-862-8602.
*Plus tax and based on double occupancy.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
- Sportsman's Oak Island Lodge, NW Angle/Oak Island, MN - www.oakislandlodge.com (800-772-8411)
Thanks for a great winter season! We look forward to seeing you in May! For April fishing trips, contact our sister resort Sportsman's Lodge 800-862-8602.
Time to book your spring and summer trip.
Come visit the islands this spring and get into some hot soft water action.
Spring lodging specials available May 11-25! Contact us today.
- Anderson's Resorts - www.andersonsleech-lake.com
Tim, (1-800-516-0077) (1-800-516-0077)
Leech Lake fishing has been pretty good. Nice perch bite has been keeping people busy. There has been a huge influx of people coming to catch whitefish this winter also! We have missed a lot of the recent snowstorms, so thankful for that! Ice is solid but clear, so hopefully will go out fast as soon as we get some nice weather. Walleye outlook is looking great, there is talk of removing slot for 2019, going to one over 20! So we are so excited about the comeback story of Leech Lake! If you have not booked your vacation up on Leech Lake give us a call and we will do everything to help make your dreams come true! Tim and Sue, Spirit of the North Resort www.andersonsleech-lake.com
- Chris Kuduk's Guide Service - (320-630-1761)
Mille Lacs has a great tullibie bite going! We caught a bunch of them out at the 9-mile hole. Big crappies are biting in the bays during the afternoon/evening bite. Give Lundeen's or your local resort a call for current conditions. Platte, Sullivan, Shakopee, Knife and Anne have a great panfish bite going. Osakis also producing some panfish. Chris has a few openings for tullibie and perch guide trips! Please call Chris anytime for up-to-the-minute fishing reports. Listen to Chris and Stan live for a weekly fishing report from 5-6 pm Saturdays on Outdoor Adventures on www.twincitiesnewstalk.com (iheart Radio)! Or listen to the podcast!
- Wayzata Bait & Tackle
Tim or Bob, half mile west off I-494 on Hwy 12 (952-473-2227)
4-15- Panfish are biting on Minnetonka in the shallows, about 10 feet of water. Try Medicine or Independence for some panfish also. Give us a call for current ice and weather conditions.
MISSISSIPPI - ST. CROIX
- Turk Gierke, Croixsippi Guide Service
April 14, 2018
The weather is ” what it is.” I wrote about this topic in my column and if you want to fish don’t let this weather stop you! We are catching fish!
This fine stringer flyis in the face of the weather terrorists who think we should just hunker down and be couch potatoes! Mike and Curt with a fine stringer. We released a lot more fish this day. Including the pic on my tip page. Mike had the hot hand and Curt was pickin’ them off too!
One saving grace about this spring has been the slow melt and the waters not all that dirty. The color is about perfect. Rising water coming this week may slow the bite, but it should leave off again soon. The warming waters should balance out the dirty water though.
Look at this giant sauger! She’s an old fish. Released. Bill caught this fish soon after he joined his son Andrew and Larry. Bill was hammering on the fish pretty good for about an hour. This group took home ten. Just enough for a fry a piece.
Overcast and sun – we have had both weather patterns and have caught fish in both. We had a very good bite early in the week when the sun came out.
Jeff out getting a “tan” in the sun and catching walleye! Jeff had a period where he caught a fish, unhooked it, drop the lure in the water…fish on! He did that three times in a row. I was going to push him in!!! lol!
Another one of Jeff’s fish! He’s a fish hog. Catch and release of course!
Big saugers get me smiling! All big fish are released.
Water level is 672.00 and water temp was 37.5 late last week. Water is coming up three feet. Time to adjust..fast!
Minnows and plastics. Ringworms, Moxi’s, paddle tails, and flukes.
Have fun and enjoy the river! Lots of good bird watching right now btw..
Signed, Charlie “Turk” Gierke
- Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, Josh Severtson, www.smokeyhills.com
19143 US HWY 71 N, Park Rapids, MN (218-237-5099)
Crappie are grouped together between 16-32 feet of water, not quite into the shallows for the spring time. Looking for a Northland "Impulse tungsten jig" tipped with a crappie minnow or waxworm for best luck! Sunfish are in or around the weeds in 8-16 feet or any kind of structure. Looking for a VMC "Tungsten Fly Jig" paired with a wax work or spike to fill the limit!
- Steve's Bait www.wheatonservice.com
Neighbor Steve, 912 Broadway, Wheaton, MN (320-563-1400, 320-563-1400)
Steve's Bait offers everything you need to be successful on Lake Traverse!! From the hot jig or plug, to the Best LIVE BAIT to be had within 75 miles!!! Pop, water and snacks will also be available! Lodging is also available at our Fishin' Hole Lodge, along with ice fishin packages. Good luck on the water!! Take a Kid Fishin! You can also check us out on Facebook!
Mase's In Towne Marine - www.intownemarina.com
Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096)
Our bait shop and main access will be closed for the season. We appreciate those of you that joined us for a great winter on Lake Waconia. It sure was nice to have good ice all season and good fishing action too! Don’t forget to get your 2018 fishing license before heading out for spring ice fishing!
Thanks again! The Mase’s and Staff
to top WINNIBIGOSHISH
- Walleye Visions - www.mnfishingconnections.com
Tom Neustrom, 21622 Airport Rd, Grand Rapids, email@example.com, (218-327-2312)
Look for perch action to heat up! The crappie and bluegill fishing has been decent on Little Cutfoot. Get out and enjoy the winter fishing opportunities that Big Winnie has to offer.