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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 - 12-7-16
Rainy Lake Fishing Report - Update Weekly
Lake Mille Lacs Fishing Report - 12-9-16
Kabetogama-Ash River Fishing Report - 11-2-16
Devils Lake, North Dakota Fishing Report from Woodland Resort

Minnesota Statewide Fishing Reports
INFO AS OF 12-9-16

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls - Rainy Lake & the Rainy River

As of late last week, ice was forming on Rainy Lake and ice fishing was expected to begin shortly. Rainy Lake is an excellent winter fishery with a village of ice houses popping up along the private ice road in Sand Bay during the ice fishing season. While there is a fee to use this ice road, Voyageurs National Park (VNP) will maintain a road of their own along the northwest edge of the Park on Rainy Lake. The VNP Ice Road is open to the public and offers access to great ice fishing areas. If you prefer, bring your skis or snowshoes to do some exploring. The road will provide access to the solitude and stillness of winter in Voyageurs, truly a winter wonderland. 800-325-5766; www.rainylake.org

Grand Rapids

While ice is developing, anglers need to hold off until there is at least 4 inches of good, solid ice to support foot travel. When walking out, use a spud and poke it twice on the ice -- if it punches through the ice then the ice is almost certainly unsafe. Bring a pair of spikes, and run them around the back of your neck and down through your sleeves so they are readily available for you to pull yourself out of the water if needed. Tell people where you are headed and when you expect to return – consider leaving a note on your vehicle as well. Bring along a fully charged cell phone. And last, always remember that ice is never entirely safe. www.visitgrandrapids.com

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette - Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

For those still venturing out on Lake of the Woods, fishing remains strong. Great reports continue to come from all along the south shore of the lake which indicates that early ice fishing should also be great. The back bays already have a couple of inches of ice. With sub-zero temperatures in the forecast, ice will start to form on the main lake. In the near future, resorts and outfitters will be testing ice conditions often -- please work through area resorts for the most up-to-date ice conditions, as well as access to flooded and plowed ice roads. With the tremendous shiner run into the Rainy River this fall, walleye fishing remains excellent. The river should ice up this week, probably putting an end to fishing from boats. Please work through river resorts since they are familiar with the river current and where ice is generally the thickest. Up at the Northwest Angle, a thin layer of ice has formed across large stretches of the lake between the islands and bays. Again, work through area resorts to learn of the best ice, trails and ice roads. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com


Ice is beginning to form on area lakes. Bemidji has two lakes right near town that are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to ice formation. Lake Irving is small and shallow, so it is one of the first area lakes to freeze each year. Lake Bemidji is deep and much larger than Lake Irving, so it is usually one of the last lakes in the area to freeze. Nearby, Upper Red Lake is always one of the first lakes in Minnesota to freeze. Anglers are usually beginning to drive ATVs on Upper Red Lake about the same time anglers are able to walk out onto Lake Bemidji. Upper Red Lake is also one of the best lakes in Minnesota for winter walleye. Anglers are allowed to fish roughly the eastern one-half of the lake, which compromises 48,000 acres of walleye-filled waters. Anglers can keep 3 walleye this winter from Upper Red Lake, with two walleye under 17 inches and one walleye longer than 17 inches allowed in a limit of walleye. Most of the fishing pressure early in the ice fishing season is located along the shoreline break, so anglers can avoid walking across deeper water to get to where they want to fish. Certain precautions should be taken before heading out. Anglers need to wear a foam life jacket to help hold their head above water in the event they fall through the ice. A set of ice picks should also be mandatory – they are easy to wear and allow anglers to pull themselves back onto the ice in an emergency. Snow is one of the biggest variables early in the ice fishing season. If the lakes get any significant snowfall right after the lakes freeze, the ice conditions can be compromised for much of the winter. Anglers need to be patient -- winter will last for months so there will be plenty of time for ice fishing. 800-458-2223; www.visitbemidji.com

Detroit Lakes

The smaller area lakes had a skim of ice as of Monday, Dec. 5th so the open water fishing season is over in the Detroit Lakes area. Cold temperatures are in the forecast for the next 10 days or more. Many expect some of the smaller area lakes and ponds to have walkable ice by this weekend. Anglers may be able to head out onto the larger area lakes by the following weekend. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region

Otter Tail Lakes Area

True ice-forming cold is setting in. Lakes in Otter Tail Country that are larger than 1,000 acres will likely remain open for some time, but the smaller area lakes will start developing ice rapidly. Some of these smaller lakes are expected be fully iced-over by the end of the weekend. 800-423-4571; www.ottertailcountry.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

As of Thursday, Dec. 8, a small amount of ice had developed on the south bays of Lake Mille Lacs. Strong winds had whipped up whitecaps since Sunday, and continued to blow into the bays on the south end. Despite uncertain conditions, as many as four could be seen standing a short distance from shore! Please wait until there is 4 inches of ice to head out. The Lake Mille Lacs walleye season has re-opened and anglers are allowed to keep one walleye between 19- and 21-inches, or one longer than 28-inches. The winter walleye season runs through Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Southern Minnesota

Lanesboro - Southeast Bluff Country trout streams

As of Nov. 29, the Crystal Springs Hatchery in Altura reported that the Whitewater River System was generally clear with a normal water flow. Observations were made at numerous sites along the Main Branch, South Branch, Middle Branch and North Branch of the Whitewater River. Please note that the only streams that are currently open for angling are within the boundaries of Forestville State Park (Forestville Creek, South Branch Root River, and Canfield Creek), Whitewater State Park (Trout Run Creek, and the Middle Branch Whitewater River) and Beaver Creek Valley State Park (East Beaver Creek). 800-944-2670; www.lanesboro.com

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

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