Winter Fishing Reports
Fishing reports for the lakes area are provided by Joe Scegura's Guide Service. Contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-260-9056.
December 28, 2018
The ice fishing remains solid going into the new year! We are catching walleye and crappie at will for the most part. There is 12”-14” of ice on many of the lakes so many anglers have started driving half tons with wheel houses out. As always make sure you check the ice the entire way prior to driving.
We’re catching our walleye in 18’-24’ feet of water. Somedays the walleye will hammer the artificial jigging baits and other days it has to be live bait. I usually start with a jigging spoon on one rod and a plain hook tipped with a 3” long minnow on the other rod. If I see a strong preference to one or the other I can make adjustments from there.
The best crappie action has been in shallow basin and bay areas in 15’-20’ feet of water. The crappie have usually been coming through 2-3 feet off bottom. A small #12 jig tipped with a euro larva has been working very well and after dark I like to use a small crappie minnow on one of my lines.
Low light has been the best time for both species. I like to hit the ice a couple hours before dark and fish an hour or so after dark. We do have about 12” of snow on the ice, so it will make travel a bit more tricky. For the most part though you should be able to get around fine. Especially on the more popular lakes where there will be plowed roads. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.
december 14, 2018
It appears we've switched weather patterns for November and December. A month ago we were much colder than average and now we are warmer than average. The good news is we have 10 to 13 inches of ice across the Alexandria Area. This goes without saying but check the ice the entire way on foot prior to driving an ATV or small vehicle.
There have been a lot of anglers out fishing the past couple weeks. The permanent house villages are popping up all over the place. There has been a good number of crappies, Sunfish and walleye being caught. The best walleye and crappie fishing has been in the low light time periods. A couple hours at sunrise and sunset is your best probability of catching either species.
I've been finding my walleye in 18 to 24 feet of water. Set lines with a minnow or a jigging spoon with a minnow have been catching most of my walleye.
The crappie have been in similar depths but suspended off the bottom 2 to 3 feet. As I mentioned above the best crappie fishing has been low light but you can catch them during the day as well. I like to use a number 12 horizontal jig with a wax worm or Euro larvae. After dark the same jig and a crappie minnow under a bobber work very well.
I personally haven't targeted Sunfish yet but I've heard pretty good reports from 15 foot of water. Look for areas with green vegetation. The same number 12 horizontal jig and a Euro larvae will catch your sunfish.
The weather for the upcoming weekend looks extremely nice! If you check the ice on foot the ice is very safe for travel. It's only when you take the ice thickness for granted that you can get into trouble. Leave a little bit earlier, take your time and you will stay safe and dry! Good luck!
February 23, 2018
The fishing remains very good around the area. I really can't complain about the quality of the bite for any species. Northern, walleye, crappie and sunfish area ll going quite well right now. I expect there to be a decent number of anglers headed out this weekend for the last couple days of the walleye/northern season. I know I will be out there!
We had a couple slow weeks of walleye, but we are back to some very respectable numbers. Two to three walleye per guy a night has been very common with some even getting a limit. But if you are staying in a wheel house for the weekend those kind of numbers really stack up. Plain shiners on a plain #4 hook has been best with an 1/8oz jigging spoon coming in second. Depending on the lake the depths have varied greatly. Shallow or deep, the main thing to look for are points and drop offs. These types of structure have been producing some nice walleye at sun up and sun down.
The crappie fishing has been best at low light as well with a decent bite going throughout the night. The fish houses are clearing off of the lakes recently due to the MN state law, but that doesn't mean the fishing is slowing at all. The deeper basin (15-25') crappie spots around the area are almost all producing some good numbers of crappie. A plain #8 hook and a crappie minnow has been doing fairly good lately. Also actively jigging your typical sunfish jig tipped with a Euro larva has been working well. Either one of these techniques will catch you crappie.
Lastly, the sunfish have been biting well most of the day on a #12 Lindy Toad type jig tipped with a Euro larva as stated above. Weedy areas in 15-20' have been best as of lately. These areas are full of sunfish of every size, but it does help to move until you get a keeper or two. The larger fish like to congregate so it's important to stay on the move until you find what you are after. The northern pike are also very active in these areas and they will become even more so, as we get closer to ice out. Unfortunately the season closes for walleye and northern at midnight 2-25-18. The northern have been hitting minnows on tip-ups, as well as biting your sunfish jigs and at times even the sunfish you are reeling up. They can definitely surprise you at any time.
The ice is still over 30 inches thick in most places, so we should be ice fishing for quite some time. With the warmer weather we will have over the next month I can't think of a more enjoyable time to get the family on some nice panfish. As always if you have any questions feel free to contact me.
February 4, 2018
As we work our way into late season ice fishing the bite is right on track with what I'd call typical. The walleye bite is slowing down and the panfish are stealing the show. We have nearly two feet of great ice and almost no snow, so it's a great year to own an Ice Castle! Fisherman of all types have been able to enjoy the lakes this year.
The walleye are still very catchable but the "good" reports are few and far in-between. Even though the average angler is only getting a couple a night, I've seen and heard of some very large walleye being caught (28-30"). Any angler would be happy to call one of those a trophy! Most of the walleye seem to be coming from the outside weed edge in 18-24' on a plain hook and a shiner.
The walleye might be slowing down, but the good sunfish and crappie bites are popping out of the woodwork, so to speak. Even the lakes that were slow earlier in the year are now doing well. 15-20' basin areas have been the hottest bites around. A small #10-#12 ice jig tipped with a Euro or wax worm has been all you need.
Over the past week I've heard of quite a few trophy sized sunfish being caught and released. Of course plenty for the pan as well, but it's nice to hear the big ones getting let go. If we don't release the big panfish, we won't have big panfish... plain and simple. So take enough to eat, but let the big girls go to spawn. No one is stocking panfish, so it's up to us to conserve. Most of the time any sunfish over 9" or crappie over 12" I catch goes back to spawn and become someone else's trophy! If we continue this practice I have no doubt our kids and grandkids will as good or better fishing than we have!
I look forward to another great week of fishing, so get the family up here to enjoy the beautiful lakes area!
January 19, 2018
The Alexandria lakes continue to put out some very nice fish. Walleye, crappie and sunfish have all been plentiful! We've had a series of cold fronts come through over the past couple weeks. Before the fronts the fishing has been amazing with very active fish and after the front, as expected, the fishing has slowed considerably. Some lakes will go unaffected, but in general I see this pattern to hold true across the area. For example we have another front coming in late Sunday, so I expect the fishing this weekend to be excellent!
Most of the lakes are producing fish at low light. Even the sunfish and crappie have been best in the morning and evening. I've heard good reports from a large number of lakes around the area, so finding a good bite hasn't been too difficult.
The crappie are usually suspended 3-10' off the bottom in 15-25' deep basin areas. Use a small minnow under a float or a small jig and Euro larva jigged slowly. These same areas have been producing sunfish right before sunset and after sunrise as well.
The walleye fishing has been fairly predictable. I haven't heard too many reports of outstanding walleye action, but it's very common to go out and catch plenty for a meal. Set up on the outside weed edges at low light. A plain hook and minnow has been best. You can catch fish on jigging spoon too, but the walleye seem to prefer a more subtle presentation.
We have very little snow and 20"+ of ice anywhere I've checked. With conditions like these it makes getting around and finding the fish much easier, so get out and enjoy the lakes!
January 5, 2018
The ice is thick and so are the fish! Most of the lakes I've checked have 18" or more of solid ice on them. There are wheel houses and trucks as far as the eye can see around the area. Some of the lakes have established ice roads and others only have a few anglers on them. As always check the ice for yourself and be cautious.
The crappie action continues to be very good. There has been numerous reports of limits being caught during the day and after dark. As for the crappie, there has been more reports than I can ever remember of 14"-16" crappie being caught and released. This is so great to hear, the 10-12" crappie are the best eating anyhow. If we continue to catch and release those large fish, we will most certainly start to see more 16"+ crappies in the future. These trophy crappie have been mostly biting after dark on suspended crappie minnows. Get a quick picture and send them back down the hole!
The walleye action has also been fairly good right through this cold snap. Reports of limits have not been uncommon, with some larger picture fish mixed in. The low light time periods near weeds or steep breaks have been the best for me. A plain #4 hook and a shiner under a bobber or an 1/8 oz jigging spoon bounced off of the bottom has been working very well. I have been getting bites throughout the entire night as well as dawn and dusk. There's nothing like hearing the sweet sound of a rattle reel at 3:00 am!
You can tell everyone is excited we finally have good ice, the entire town is loaded with vehicles pulling fish houses. It's great to see so many people enjoying the Alexandria Lakes Area.
December 22, 2017
Not much has changed since last week, other than the ice has gotten thicker. I'm finding 8-12" of ice nearly everywhere now, except for the few spots that froze over late. Keep an eye out for these areas. The easiest way to spot the thinner ice is by the noticeable difference in snow cover. As of today the thinner areas I've found were free of snow. From what I've seen these areas are located on the middle portion of the lake where the strong winds kept it open around the Thanksgiving time period. These areas will become less of an issue as we move through the winter. For now just keep an eye out and check the ice thickness as you go and you will have no problem.
We are still having decent luck on walleye in 10-25' of water. As always a minnow and a plain #2 or #4 hook is all you need. I've also been catching them on 1/8oz jiggins spoons like the Lindy Frostee. Bounce these within a couple inches of the bottom as the sun rises or sets for the best chance at catching your walleye dinner. The panfish bite has also been quite good. look in the shallow weeds during the day and the deeper basins in the evening. I've heard of quite a few 14"+ crappie being caught and released.
We will be making a lot of ice over the next two weeks, so get those wheel houses ready! I think there will be a lot of vehicle traffic by early January. Currently anglers are using ATV's to move around the larger wheel houses. Check the ice thickness often and go have some fun!