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Current Fishing Reports on Up North Outdoors.
MINNESOTA - LAND OF 10,000 Lakes - Get out on the Water!
Lake of the Woods Fishing Report - 4-18-16
Rainy Lake Fishing Report - Update Weekly
Lake Mille Lacs Fishing Report - 3-11-16
Kabetogama-Ash River Fishing Report - 2-29-16
Devils Lake, North Dakota Fishing Report from Woodland Resort

Minnesota Statewide Fishing Reports
INFO AS OF 4-22-16

Northeast Minnesota

Duluth - Lake Superior and inland waters

Lake Superior is giving up lots of fish to anglers that can endure the wind and cooler temperatures. The coho salmon bite has been good for anglers trolling shads or reef runners in bright colors. Long-lining with planer boards has been best. Anglers continue to catch nice loopers and steelhead at the river mouths. One area guide viewed hundreds of anglers up and down the shoreline last week, so head out early to beat the rush. The smelt are starting to move into the rivers to spawn, however, the run won’t peak for about two weeks. Crappie action on the St. Louis River is picking up as temperatures rise. For the most fish, hit the shallow bays with timber and rocks using a crappie minnow under a float. The inland lakes are mostly ice-free. Nice crappies are coming from roughly 10 feet of water. Water temperatures in the shallow bays have been as high as 52-degrees with most averaging around 45-degrees. As air and water temperatures rise, look for the bite to heat up on all area waters. According to DNR Lake Superior Fisheries staff, angling pressure was high last weekend, April 15-17, along the South Shore with 78 steelhead, 35 kamloops, 1 brown trout, and 4 white suckers taken by anglers. Average daily water temperatures were 44-degrees. Along the Middle Shore of Lake Superior, average daily water temperatures were 39-degrees. Angling pressure was high, and many anglers reported fish surfacing with a number fish caught. Along the Upper Shore, water temperatures remained between 35- and 37-degrees. Water levels remained high and quite turbid, particularly in larger tributaries. Angling pressure was light to moderate. There was some smelt activity at Minnesota Point, but few fish were caught. For more information on the smelt run, check out the “Smelt on the North Shore” fact sheet. 800-438-5884; www.visitduluth.com

Grand Rapids

Crappies are biting on the smaller area lakes that have warmed to 45-plus degrees. The small bays on Lake Pokegama have been a very popular location for crappie anglers. For the most fish, use a simple bobber rig with a plain hook or jig tipped with a crappie minnow. Anglers are also enjoying lots of sucker action in the tributaries of the Mississippi River and on the Mississippi River. www.visitgrandrapids.com

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette - Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

Now that the spring walleye season has ended, anglers are turning their attention to northern pike since the pike season is continuous on Lake of the Woods. Large pike measuring over 40-inches are fairly common in Four Mile Bay, Bostic Bay and Zippel Bay which now have open water – the majority of the main lake is still covered in ice. On the Rainy River, sturgeon numbers are high and improving each day. Find a river hole and toss in a 3- to 5-ounce no-roll sinker, 18" leader and a 5/0 circle hook loaded with crawlers, frozen shiners, or anything else that produces a smell. Please handle these prehistoric fish with care, and never hold them vertically since this could damage them internally. The sturgeon season is catch-and-release through April 23; the “keeper” season runs April 24-May 7. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com


The ice is now off all Bemidji area lakes, and soon the docks will be set up at the public accesses. Water temperatures are the key to knowing when things will happen in the spring. Most sonar units have water temperature gauges, so anglers can locate the warmest waters. There can be several degrees difference between the main lake and some of the sheltered, backwater areas that have shallow water and a dark, muddy bottom to absorb the suns’ rays. Early season panfish are attracted to these areas because they have the first insect hatches, giving the crappies and sunnies a good source of food when the forage is tough to find in the main lake. The crappies and sunnies will usually stay suspended in deep water (usually 15-25 feet) until some shoreline areas to warm into the low 50s. The best early season panfish action is usually during mid- to late afternoon hours when water and air temperatures are at their highest. Crappies generally hold in slightly deeper water near the area they want to feed, moving shallower to feed when the conditions are right. Slip bobbers fished with a jig and minnow are usually best for early season crappies. Small lead head jigs, small hair jigs or ice fishing jigs with a slightly larger hook is best for crappies due to their paper thin mouths. Sunfish usually prefer insects over minnows, while crappies tend to prefer minnows more than bugs. Anglers targeting sunfish should use wax worms or eurolarvae similar to what was used when ice fishing. 800-458-2223; www.visitbemidji.com

Detroit Lakes Area Lakes

Inconsistent weather in the Detroit Lakes area has kept the panfish bite from taking off and staying strong. The wind and wet weather kept most anglers off the lakes several days last week. Regardless, some quality crappies were pulled from the shallows with the warmest water where there was weed growth or current. Depths of 5-8 feet have been most productive, with small jigs tipped with crappie minnows under bobbers turning the most fish. Water temperatures should continue to climb through the weekend, and the weekend bite should be good with the stable weather forecast. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region

Otter Tail Lakes Area

Water temperatures in the bays climbed from the low to mid- 40s into the low 50s last weekend. Anglers are having the most success in the small, shallow lakes, and in the bays of some of the larger lakes. First-spring panfishing can be tricky, especially on lakes where the water is clear. Approach them slowly, cast beyond them and reel in a bit so they don't get spooked. Try a 1/32- or 1/64-ounce hair jig tipped with gulp bodies. Once the shallow bays and shorelines warm a few more degrees the fishing will get easier and improve greatly. 800-423-4571; www.ottertailcountry.com


Warmer water temperatures have drawn sunfish into the Starbuck Marina on Lake Minnewaska. Expect crappies to soon follow. Once the winds die down, also check Fish Hatchery Bay and the Ballroom area on the Glenwood side of Lake Minnewaska. www.glenwoodlakesarea.org

Pine River

Ice-out has occurred on all Pine River area lakes, large and small. Recent warm air temperatures have drawn the crappies and sunnies into the shallow bays and channels, especially on warm afternoons. Lake water temperatures remain cold, running between 45- and 50-degrees; as temperatures rise, so will the panfish bite. Remember that if temperatures turn cold, the fish will move back into the adjacent, deeper waters for a while. For the most action, set a small hook or jig rigged with a small minnow or plastic about a foot to three feet below a light bobber. Florescent yellow, white or blue jigs are usually helpful. The DNR has walleye stripping stations in place and will be stripping eggs shortly. The nearest stripping station to Pine River is located where the river empties into Whitefish Lake. 800-728-6926; http://www.pinerivermn.com

Brainerd Lakes Area

Good numbers of crappies and a few largemouth bass are coming from the mud and weeds in roughly 3-4 feet of water. Action has been best during afternoon hours when the water is warmest -- water temperatures are currently in the low to mid-50s. Yellow/orange puddle jumpers tipped with a crappie minnow have worked well, especially with a slight jig of the rig. Search the bays for schools of fish. If action is slow, try wax worms and/or plastics to see if they prefer one over the other. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Previously announced fishing regulations for Lake Mille Lacs have changed. While the 2016 open water season on Lake Mille Lacs will remain catch-and-release only, live bait will now be allowed. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity


The crappie bite is improving on Lake Waconia. While the bite won’t peak until temperatures reach the mid-50s, anglers should expect to take a few 10- to 12-inch fish mixed in with numerous 6- to 9-inch crappies. Don’t count out the trophy-size fish, however, since one angler reported a 15-inch trophy-sized crappie last weekend. For the best bite, hit depths of 9-14 feet at the weeds of Waconia Bay. The smaller fish seem to be lingering near the surface so fish several feet down for a better chance at the larger fish. 952/442-5812; www.destinationwaconia.org

Southern Minnesota

Lanesboro - Southeast Bluff Country trout streams

According to the National Trout Center in Preston, there were great nymph conditions and the sporadic appearance of small blue winged olives during last weekend's stream trout opener. There were also several reports of early small dark caddis. The streams were unusually clear, and water levels were at or below mid-season norms. Stop in at the National Trout Center or print for area stream maps or print your own trout angling maps. 800-944-2670; www.lanesboro.com

Fairmont Area Lakes

The panfish are moving into the shallows of area lakes, including Amber, Hall, Budd, Sisseton, and George. Anglers are having the most success using a jig and minnow combination, with some fish also coming in on jigs tipped with waxworms. Tuttle Lake, which is an Iowa border lake, continues to give up walleye to anglers using live bait with soft plastics. 800-657-3280; www.fairmontcvb.com

Ortonville - Big Stone Lake

The fishing season opener for Big Stone Lake is this Saturday, April 23, when anglers may fish for walleye, northern pike and largemouth bass. Ice-out on Big Stone Lake occurred March 16. The water remains very clear and cold, with surface water temperatures just over the 40-degree mark at the time of this report. Water clarity is down roughly 4 feet so anglers will want to fish during low-light hours or at night. The walleye are expected to come into the shallows at night to feed, then retreat to the deeper waters during the day. For the most action, pitch a jig and minnow combination or a crankbait into water just 1- to 2-feet deep. 800-568-5722; www.bigstonelake.com

The information in this report is provided courtesy of Explore Minnesota Tourism.

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