Preparing ice trails on Lake of the Woods; photo courtesy of www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com
Few anglers are venturing out now that ice is forming on bodies of water throughout the state — very little information on fishing activity is available at this time.
This is a good time for anglers to prepare their equipment and review the DNR’s Ice Safety Guidelines web page.
For rules, regulations and other helpful information on fishing in Minnesota, consult the DNR’s Fish Minnesotaweb page.
Consider attending the Hard Water Fishing Expo at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Nov. 17-19. Discover the latest ice fishing gear, and attend seminars and Q & A sessions with Ice Team professional.
Duluth – Lake Superior, St. Louis River and inland waters
Fishing has been very slow this last week which is not unusual for this time of year. Water surface temperatures are dropping into the 30s with ice covering most bodies of water. Please note that none of the ice in the Twin Ports area is thick enough for ice fishing. Local anglers expect some fishable ice by the end of the month. Please remember no ice is ever 100 percent safe. It is important to check with area bait shops, resorts or guides before venturing out. This is the time of year to properly clean, organize and prepare your boat for winter storage. It is also a great time to clean, organize and prepare for the upcoming ice fishing season. 800-438-5884; www.visitduluth.com
Baudette – Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
Ice stretches as far as the eye can see from the south shore of Lake of the Woods. All of the back bays are now frozen over. The Rainy River is covered in a skim of ice aside from a few areas with open water. The water temperature is roughly 33 degrees so the cold nights will help build ice. The spearing season began Nov. 15, and spearers are eager to head out onto Bostic Bay where measurements have shown 6 inches of ice in some areas. Walleye and sauger are staged along the south shore. They can be found at Pine Island, Zippel Bay, Long Point and Rocky Point. At the Northwest Angle, many areas have frozen over and some area residents who are very familiar with the lake are using snowmobiles to access the islands. Expectations are high since large schools of walleye were found in these areas just before ice-up. Before venturing out onto the ice, please check with a local resort or bait shop for the most up-to-date information on ice conditions. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com
While ice has formed on most waters throughout the Detroit Lakes area, it is unsafe for travel. Most area lakes have roughly 3 inches of unstable ice at the shorelines, and a few remain entirely open. The recent pattern of cold days followed by a couple days in the high 30s will continue for a while so ice will probably not be accessible until after Thanksgiving. Please stay off the ice until there is a cold snap that lasts at least 5 to 7 days in a row. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com
Isle/Onamia – Lake Mille Lacs
The DNR has announced that walleye fishing on Lake Mille Lacs will open on Friday, Dec. 1 with no bait restrictions. Anglers may keep 1 walleye measuring 20 to 22 inches, or one longer than 28 inches. For more information on Lake Mille Lacs regulations, check out the DNR news release from Nov. 3. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com
Minneapolis-St. Paul Area
Stillwater – St. Croix River
As of Nov. 9, limits of walleye and sauger were being pulled from the St. Croix River. Anglers were also taking some huge white bass – these fish are always fun to catch! Just some of the many techniques turning fish include jigging raps, spoons, rapalas, jigs with plastics, and rigged minnows, especially in 18-34 feet of water. www.discoverstillwater.com
Lanesboro – Southeast Bluff Country trout streams
As of Thursday, Nov. 16, fisheries staff reported that most area streams and rivers were clear with a normal water flow. Please note that Whitewater State Park is closed for their firearms deer hunt this weekend, November 18 and 19. No one will be allowed in the park unless they are deer hunting and have the appropriate license. There were some amazing midge hatches on Sunday, Nov. 12, with fish being caught on midge adults, pupae and larvae patterns. Southeast stream trout maps are available under “Area Highlights” on the Lanesboro area fisheries web page. 800-944-2670; www.lanesboro.com
Anglers may obtain fishing licenses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by dialing 1-888-665-4236, or accessing DNR License Sales.
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