STATE FISHING REPORT
Lake Mille Lacs: Cold temperatures last weekend led to fewer anglers and a spotty walleye bite for the fishing opener on the big lake. “We had some people say their whole group did great on Saturday fishing for walleyes in seven to 12 feet of water,” said Renee Hunt of Johnson’s Portside Bait and Liquor near Isle. Hunt said anglers were catching walleyes in the 14- to 16-inch range using jigs with leeches. A Facebook post by Chapman’s Mille Lacs Resort and Guide Service on Sunday reported a group on a three-hour outing caught 10 walleye, all but three of them ranging from 20 to 25 inches.Lake Minnetonka: After a slow start, fishing is starting to heat up on the lake. “A lot of the western bays are doing well, like Maxwell, North Arm and West Arm,” said Tim Sonenstahl at Wayzata Bait. “It’s been a little slower on the east side of the lake where the water temperatures are colder.” Sonenstahl said anglers are catching walleyes at 12 to 14 feet with leeches and fatheads, and northerns in the weed flats with spinnerbaits or with sucker minnows on bobbers in five to six feet of water. Bass, which are catch-and-release only until after Memorial Day, are being caught at five to six feet with spinnerbaits and jigs with worms.
Lake Kabetogama/Namakan: Snow, sleet and strong winds made for a slow opening weekend on the border. Walleyes started out slowly Saturday and picked up somewhat as temperatures warmed over the next couple of days. Anglers were having some luck fishing minnows with jig heads or slip sinker rigs in eight to 12 feet of water in bays with sandy or soft bottoms. Some folks were finding success fishing off the shore or from docks, but most of the fish being landed were above the under-17-inch slot for the lake. Water temperatures were not yet conducive to successful crappie fishing.Lake of the Woods: The cold and wind failed to keep anglers away on opening weekend, with most of the fishing done on Four Mile Bay and the Rainy River to stay sheltered from the worst of the weather. Walleyes were being caught at various depths up to 28 feet in the main lake basin using jigs with minnows, with the best colors being pink, orange, gold and chartreuse. Walleyes also were being landed on the Rainy River from the bay to as far as 40 miles upstream in five to 15 feet of water, again using brightly-colored jigs tipped with minnows.