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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 - 1-26-15
Rainy Lake Fishing Report - Update Weekly
Lake Mille Lacs Fishing Report -1-23-15
Kabetogama-Ash River Fishing Report - 1-26-15
Devils Lake, North Dakota Fishing Report from Woodland Resort

Minnesota Statewide Fishing Reports
INFO AS OF 1-30-15

Northeast Minnesota
International Falls - Rainy Lake & the Rainy River

Rainy Lake walleye and crappie fishing has been good. Overnight temperatures will drop this weekend and this may cause patterns to change. For now, fishing has been best during morning hours when jigging a minnow just above the bottom. The best depths range from 15-30 feet depending on where you are. Birch Point in Sand Bay, the structure around American Narrows, and Dryweed Island have been the most popular spots. Large northern pike are coming from the areas around Cranberry Bay, and Rainy Lake City in Black Bay. Snowmobilers are thrilled with the recent snowfall, and groomers report that the lake trails are in pretty good shape. The Rainy Lake ice road in Voyageurs National Park provides additional access to those without snowmobiles. 800-325-5766; www.rainylake.org


Good ice and mild temperatures have provided anglers with great opportunities to locate all species of fish on lakes Kabetogama and Namakan. Walleye anglers are enjoying the fast action with lots of nice jumbo perch and sauger mixed in with the walleye. Most anglers are taking a few keepers, along with some 20-plus inch fish. Tip-ups are working well for northern pike and walleye. For pike, use light northern sucker minnows on the tip-up; for walleye, perch, sauger, use a small jig or bare hook with a shiner or fat head minnow. The ice road from Kabetogama Visitor Center to Ash River Visitor Center offers easy travel to many great fishing locations. The snowmobile trails on ice and on land are in great shape, with a trail base of 10-15 inches. . 800-524-9085; www.kabetogama.com


Trout remain the hot topic for anglers fishing Ely area lakes. Good numbers of rainbow trout and splake are being pulled from area trout lakes. The best times to target these fish have been at sunrise and just before dusk. Small dark jigs with the new dark-colored preserved wax worms have been a deadly combination. No active jigging is required, and strikes come just as easily on a "dead" stick. Small jigging spoons have worked well during mid-day hours, especially when tipped with waxies or salted minnows. Lake trout are also cooperating. Anglers having the most success are using chubby darters, zippers, airplane jigs and bionic bucktails tipped with part or all of a ciscoe. Northern pike action remains fairly steady as pike begin to drop into deeper waters in search of the forage base. Live suckers or frozen ciscoes seem to work equally well when fished in 8-20 feet of water. 800-777-7281; www.ely.org

Grand Rapids

Panfish enthusiasts are enjoying great mobility and easy access to many hot spots on Grand Rapids area lakes, and most report a spectacular winter of ice fishing! Many lakes in the area, from small 100-acre lakes to the larger bodies of water, continue to produce nice crappies and bluegills. Lakes such as Sand, Bowstring, Pokegama, Trout (in Coleraine), Big Splithand, and Big Balsam have been some of the best producers. For the most fish, tone down your delivery and use smaller bait sizes. Wax worms and euro larvae are the baits of choice on small spoons and jigs. Overall, ice conditions are good, but areas with active springs on some of the larger lakes must be avoided. 800-335-9740; www.visitgrandrapids.com

Northwest Minnesota
Baudette - Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

On Lake of the Woods, the best reports are coming from south shore anglers fishing areas roughly 15 miles out in front of Pine Island. Fishing remains strong, with a nice combination of walleye and saugers being taken. Anglers fishing the structure at Knight, Bridges, and Garden Island are also doing well. Please note that the snowmobile trail north of Knight Island has been re-staked and groomed due to ice upheavals. A decent bite has also been reported from the Morris Point area to Zippel Bay, especially in 20-28 feet during the day, and in depths of 15-18 feet during low light hours. Long Point and Arnesen’s continue to produce fish, with action being the most consistent at the reefs, and at the mud adjacent to the reefs. On the Rainy River, orange or chartreuse with frozen shiners worked in 16 feet of water remains the best bet for action. Please work through outfitters, bait shops and resorts to learn if there are areas to avoid. Up at the Northwest Angle, good fishing continues on the edge of structure in 20-30 feet of water. Gold and glow colors have been the most effective. Jig one line, and dead stick the second line. Anglers report a mixed bag, with more walleye than saugers, and some jumbo perch, northern pike and eelpout mixed in. Overall, ice conditions remain very good. Measurements show 26-32 inches of ice on the south shore, and 30-34 inches of ice up near Oak Island. The snowmobile trails continue to be groomed. While there have been a couple of pressure ridges, the trails were rerouted and are now in even better shape. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com

Bemidji Area Lakes

Great ice conditions continue in the Bemidji area, with more than 20 inches of good ice on most area lakes. Anglers still need to be cautious, however, and stick to established trails and roads on the lakes unless they know the area well and are aware of potential risks. Groups of stationary fish houses are spread out across most of the popular lakes, with only one or two anglers on other lakes -- it pays to explore new lakes. The number of anglers on the lakes this winter has increased due to the good ice conditions and the mild weather through most of January. Fishing starts to improve in February as the days get longer by about 3 minutes per day. Winter begins to lose some of its punch and most species of fish get more active as the days grow longer and their spawning time approaches. The full moon is early next week, so the night bite should be steadily improving as the weekend approaches. Species like walleyes, crappies and eelpout should all be more active at night with the waxing moon. The popularity of eelpout is on the rise, partly because they are a large fish that is usually eager to bite and partly because they are highly prized for eating, much like their saltwater cousins the cod fish. Eelpout inhabit most of the deep clear lakes in the Bemidji area that also have decent walleye populations. Crappies anglers have also had lots of success, with crappies found suspended over the basin. Sunfish are holding at the moderate depth mud flats and on the sharp breaks at the weedlines. Perch have been active on the edges of the large shallow flats and on the deep edge of the basin in areas with a mud bottom. 800-458-2223; www.visitbemidji.com

Bena -Lake Winnibigoshish

On Lake Winnibigoshish, the bite has been good, with several areas giving up nice numbers. On the north side of the lake, check 11-22 foot depths at Tamarac Bay. The humps off of High Banks have also been good. On the west and south sides, head to Long Bar, Center Bar, Snag Hole or River Bar. For the most fish, work the top portions of the drops in 15-22 feet of water. Ice thickness is roughly 28-30 inches so an auger extension has been necessary at times. One area to avoid is the large ice heave at Sugar Bar. Before heading out, please check with local bait shops and resorts for the most current conditions. www.lakewinnie.net

Cass Lake

Cass Lake ice averages 22-30 inches thick, with minimal snow coverage and a few ice ridges. 800-356-8615; www.casslake.com

Walker - Leech Lake

What an awesome week of weather for fishing, and this week has been just as good, if not better! The walleye bite is on the upswing, and the jumbo perch are starting to hit as well. The main part of Leech Lake is producing well all the way down to the south end at Trappers Landing Lodge. The walleye are biting best on the breaklines in the sand, and anglers are taking a few off the rocks along with some nice perch and large eelpout “slimers.” The ice measures 26-32 inches but caution must still be used due to a number of large ice heaves. A few trucks recently fell through the ice when driving next to or over heaves that weren’t strong enough to support a vehicle. Travel is easy across the lake due to the lack of snow, although there are inverted ice heaves that look harmless but are dangerous. When traveling on the ice, please stay on the roads and ask the guides, resorts and bait shops if there are areas to avoid. 800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Detroit Lakes

Ice anglers in the Detroit Lakes area have been out in full force due to wonderful temperatures, great ice conditions, and easy travel as a result of minimal snow cover. Some slushing and flooding are occurring, however, due to unseasonably warm temperatures. More normal temperatures are expected later this weekend. The walleye bite remains inconsistent, but some quality fish are being caught by anglers using a jigging technique off the deep weed edges on inside turns or tips of points. Look for the weed edges at 15-18 feet that break to deep water of 25-plus feet. Last hour of daylight and first hour of dark have been best. The panfish bite remains best and most consistent, with large sunfish and crappies coming off many area lakes. Some fish, mostly sunfish, are in the weed pockets; most crappies have been suspended off the deeper weed edges. For crappies, check depths of 18-35 feet of water while jigging waxies, small minnows or plastic tails. Don’t miss the Poles ‘N Holes Fishing Derby held on Saturday, Feb.7 on Little Detroit Lake, with over $35,000 in prizes to be awarded! 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region
Pine River

The ice conditions are good on most Pine River area lakes with up to 2 feet of ice covering most lakes. Areas to avoid are ice heaves, channels, and areas fed by springs. Anglers are advised to travel only where others continue to travel, and check ice depths often as they go. All species of fish remain quite active, possibly due to the lack of snow on the ice that has helped maintain oxygen levels. Sunfish are hitting small ice flies and waxies during the day. Crappies have been most active during early morning hours and during evening hours until dark. Northern pike have been especially active in 12-20 feet of water. The walleye bite has moved deeper, with fish found in 20-40 feet of water on most of the larger lakes. Anglers are advised to wear ice cleats on their boots to help with traction. 800-728-6926; www.pinerivermn.com

Isle/Onamia - Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs ice measures well over 20 inches in most areas of the lake. Anglers should still access the lake through a resort in order to get the most current conditions. Very little snow covers the ice on the lake and travel is good. Be sure to cross any cracks or heaves at a bridge, and bring your cleats! While most walleye are measuring 10-11 inches, there's a mix of oversized fish along with a handful of keepers too. Some of the better baits include kastmasters, gem-n-eyes and tinglers. The top colors include gold, copper and firetiger. Stick to 25 feet or deeper for the walleye and perch. Check depths of 30-plus feet for tullibees, and work depths of 12 feet or less for the northerns. No preference towards mud, rocks or gravel has been noticed this week. Take part in KJ's Ice Jam Fishing Contest in Onamia this Saturday, Jan. 31. In addition to the ice fishing contest, enjoy three great rock bands, lots of food & refreshments, free shuttle bus rides, raffles and door prizes. 888 -350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Willmar Lakes Area

Last weekend presented anglers with another great weekend of ice fishing! The northern pike, bass and walleye bite heated up on many area lakes. The most active lakes were Diamond, Norway, Nest and Green lakes. Good-sized crappies and sunfish were pulled from Norway and Nest lakes, while some small perch and northern pike were caught on South Long Lake. The key to ice fishing this time of year is to move around until you locate fish. Ice is averaging 16-21 inches thick on most lakes, with areas of slushy water on top of the ice and some of the accesses turning a bit sloppy. Looks like another great weekend for ice fishing ahead, along with the possibility of a more active bite as another front moves through. 800-845-8747; www.willmarlakesarea.com

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity
Chisago City

Ice on Chisago area lakes remains good, however, anglers are still encouraged to check with a local bait shop for the most current conditions. Don’t miss the Celebration of the Lakes taking place this weekend, Jan. 30 - Feb. 1, with includes radar runs, the North American Ice Fishing Circuit Tournament Series National Qualifying Tournament, a free Kids' Ice Camp with free fishing rod and lunch, Kids' Pro Ice snowmobile racing, sled dog rides, children's games, ice skating, sliding, 5K walk/run, and a medallion hunt. Most events held on North Center Lake, including the Kids’ Fishing Clinic on Saturday morning, Jan. 31. 651/257-1177; www.chisagolakeschamber.com

Southern Minnesota
Winona Area Lakes/Mississippi River

Tip-ups and sucker minnows continue to produce lots of northern pike in the backwater areas and boat harbors off the Mississippi River. Look for perch in the Spring Lake and Weaver Bottoms areas. Machine Shop Lake is kicking out panfish and walleye in 5-10 foot and 20 foot depths, as well as off the main river. On Lake Winona, sunfish are being caught in 5-30 feet of water. 800-657-4972; www.visitwinona.com

Lanesboro -Southeast Bluff Country Trout Streams

As of Wednesday, January 28, all area streams and rivers monitored by fisheries staff were reported to have clear water conditions and normal water flows. Fishing success has been spotty, probably due to stream temperatures dropping as a result of ice melt. Temperatures will drop to more seasonable levels this weekend, which should stop the melting for a while. There have been occasional reports of midge hatches, with fish rising as well. Male blue birds have been seen fly-catching on the river below Lanesboro and in Whitewater State Park on the Middle Branch Whitewater. It is always a treat to see these birds while fishing in the winter! Check out the news release regarding the expanded winter trout season which began January 1, 2015. As updates on stream conditions become available, they are posted on the Southeast Minnesota Stream Conditions web page. You are also welcome to call the office for updates at 507-467-2442. Before traveling, please check out the new detailed fishing easement maps. 800-944-2670; www.lanesboro.com

Fairmont Area Lakes

Earlier this week, ice measured 8-13 inches on average on most Fairmont area lakes. While ATV travel has been okay, travel by car and truck is highly discouraged. And anyone traveling on the ice will want to watch out for holes that have swirled open due to wind -- please be sure to check with a local guide or bait shop for the most current conditions before venturing out. 507-238-9461; www.fairmont.org

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

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