Alexandria area: According to Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle, anglers headed to lakes such as Mary, Stowes and Barret for walleyes and crappies. Walleyes were biting on shiners at 5-10 feet while crappies were hitting waxworms and panfish were hitting nightcrawlers. The Chain (Lake Le Homme Dieu, Carlos and Geneva), Chippewa Lake and Osakis were still mostly ice-covered.

Lake Minnetonka: Tim Sonenstahl, owner of Wayzata Bait and Tackle, noticed a little more boat traffic than usual as some anglers were staying closer to the metro area because of icy lakes in northern Minnesota. High winds forced anglers to focus on bays with less wind and warmer water. Walleyes were hitting jigs and minnows or Rapalas at about 3-10 feet before the wind kicked up. Crappies were being caught on the smaller bays at 3-6 feet with jigs and minnows. Northern pike action was slow.

Chisago City area: Brad Dusenka of Frankies Bait said that strong wind hampered the opener but that there was a strong walleye bite after midnight. Lake such as Green, South Lindstrom, South Center and Chisago were the best spots to catch walleyes, at 2-10 feet on shiners or big fathead minnows.

Mankato area: Tony Meixner of The Bobber Shop in Mankato reported a slow opener despite area lakes being free of ice. “It’s surprising how very few people went out on the lakes today because of the wind,” he said. Meixner said the Minnesota River has been producing walleyes and channel cats on jig-and-minnow or jig-and-twistertail setups. Fishing was fair on Lake Washington and Lake Hanska.

Baudette area: Steve Theis Jr. of Log Cabin Bait and Tackle said Lake of the Woods was largely ice-covered but “everybody’s fishing in the Rainy River or the lake bays.” He said anglers were going after walleyes using frozen shiners with a heavily weighted spinner to deal with the heavy river current, and a few big northerns were being caught with bobber setups.

STAFF REPORTS