Last year, the fishing was as good as it gets for anglers all across the state of Minnesota. Here’s hoping we have another 12 months of phenomenal fishing!
Sylvan Lake, Cass County
There is a five-fish limit in place on crappies and bluegills on Sylvan Lake, so there are plenty of fish for anglers to pursue — and some quite nice-sized ones as well. Anglers will find the bulk of the fishing pressure in the deep water on the edge of the sunken island on the east basin and in the deep holes on the west basin. Both of those areas are generally productive throughout the entire winter.
White Iron Lake, St. Louis County
It would seem that all the best walleye lakes have slot limits and White Iron is no exception. Walleyes from 17 to 26 inches must be released, and only one over 26 inches can be kept. But there are plenty of walleyes 16 inches and smaller that can be found cruising the sand and rubble bottom. Plan on drilling lots of holes and keep moving until you connect with a school of 16-inchers.
Lake Sybil, Otter Tail County
The big bluegills like to hang on the well-defined weedline on Sybil. There are a few inside turns on the edge of the vegetation, but most of the weedline is straight and easy to find with a sonar.
Lake Minnewashta, Carver County
Fish the edge of the milfoil at the tip of the big flat to the south of the west boat ramp. Big bluegills bunch up there and don’t hesitate to inhale a wax worm on a small jigging spoon. The north bay is a good spot to drill some holes for sunnies on this lake.
Lake Sallie, Becker County
On Lake Sallie all pike greater than 24 inches must be released. This has created a fishery where big pike exist and they do bite well in the winter. Consider it a fun day of fishing instead of the start of a fish fry and you’ll enjoy a pike outing on Sallie.
Lake George, Anoka County
Start drilling holes in 16 feet of water on the inside turn on the west side and follow that contour in either direction. Big bluegills love this deep weedline and when you find them you’ll be impressed with their size.
Ruth Lake, Crow Wing County
As the sun peeks over the horizon in the morning you want to be on the north side of the rockpile in about 12 feet of water to find some of the 10- to 12-inch perch. As the sun rises, keep moving into deeper water toward the inside turn to stay on them. Jigging spoons with minnow heads catch the big perch in this lake.
Sugar Lake, Cass County
The crappies head for the deep holes in March and there are a few good options on Sugar Lake. It’s worth heading into the southwest bay and drilling over that 30-foot hole, but also plan on hitting that saddle between the islands.
Elephant Lake, St. Louis County
The crappies are roamers on Elephant Lake so drill plenty of holes and use flashy spoons to get their attention. There is plenty of water more than 20 feet deep on the east side of the lake to concentrate your search.
Stuart Lake, Otter Tail County
Right after the ice goes out the crappies will move quickly into the shallow water and hug that bulrush. Get in there with a bobber and minnow and have some fun. If you’re looking for big crappies this early, fish the steeper breaklines in 15 to 20 feet of water and you’ll find some suspended 1-pounders.
Blanche Lake, Otter Tail County
The bluegills in Blanche Lake tend to hang in the deeper water for a while after ice-out. That’s typical of bigger fish, and the bluegills in Blanche are nice sized. Stick to the structure in the mid-depths, which consists of slightly sharper breaklines in 15 to 20 feet of water, and you’ll catch some respectable-sized fish.
Gun Lake, Aitkin County
There’s a big shallow bay on the northeast corner of Gun Lake that the crappies begin migrating to right after ice-out. By the end of April these fish are stacked up pretty thick in the shallow water, but there always are some nice ones hanging just outside the narrows that lead into this bay.
Lake Bemidji, Beltrami County
Lake Bemidji has been opening well the past few years, probably because there are plenty of walleyes to go around in this lake. There are big sand flats where the smaller males roam, and some steep dropoffs where the females can slip off to the deep edge and sit happily. Decide if you want to play the numbers game or set your sights on some big ones before you dictate your game plan.
Lake Kabetogama, St. Louis and Koochiching Counties
The governor opened on this lake in 2010 and the fishing was outstanding. Once anglers realized the walleyes were on the deepwater rockpiles they were bending poles and wishing they had more leeches.
Lake Pimushe, Beltrami County
The limit for sunfish on Pimushe has been set at five fish, but the limit on crappies is 10. For the crappies in May, drift a jig tipped with a minnow in 12 to 20 feet of water. Look for those fish that have migrated out of the shallow bays and are now suspended on the breaklines.
Lake Mille Lacs, Aitkin/Mille Lacs Counties
It is the walleye peak and Mille Lacs provides the vehicle to take advantage of the great fishing. Lots of varying structural elements allow anglers to pursue their favorite walleye techniques and everything works. On windy days work the shallow rocks and rubble; on calm days head out to the mud flats and gravel bars.
Lake Koronis, Stearns County
The smallmouth bass must like their home because of the sand, rock and boulder-bottomed areas that are prevalent on Koronis. On calm days, topwater lures work fine, but when there is a little chop on the water, switch to a lipless, rattlin’ crankbait. A lot of walleye anglers pick up smallies on leeches on their live-bait rigs, and so that’s an option too.
Lake Le Homme Dieu, Douglas County
Part of the Alexandria Chain of Lakes, Le Homme Dieu has an outstanding reputation as being the premier bass lake in the chain. Largemouth bass can slide out of deep water to chase forage around the shallow bulrush and then slip back to their sanctuary in deeper water. Start shallow and work deeper, targeting the aggressive fish first.
Pages: 1 2