AREA FISHING REPORT
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Not much has changed on the big lake, as walleyes are biting in 32 feet out from Lighthouse Gap all the way to Zippel Bay and points even farther west. A jig and shiner minnow or spinners and crawlers will do the trick. At the Northwest Angle, anglers are catching walleyes in 12 to 26 feet of water around the islands on jigs and shiners. Muskie and smallmouth bass also remain active near the islands.
It's a good time to be a walleye angler on Devils Lake, according to local fishing guide Mark Bry. Walleyes seem to be biting just about everywhere, Bry said, with the best action in 9 to 13 feet of water. Walleyes definitely have slid a bit deeper, Bry said, and he's having his best luck working the edges of weedlines. Vertical jigging, live bait with slip bobbers and live bait rigs all are working around the weedbeds, Bry said, and it seems as if worms have been the ticket. Pitching jigs tipped with Gulp artificial bait or pulling Gulp along the weedbeds also has been successful. Other areas to fish include points, rock piles and flooded timber. Meanwhile, Bry said, white bass continue to bite, as well, but seem to have moved a bit deeper. Bry said he's also catching a few northerns while walleye fishing. The key right now, Bry said, is to remember that the fish have slid deeper and could really be in any depth. Many of the walleyes are in the 14- to 18-inch range, which are the perfect eaters, he said.
Catfishing on the Red River is beginning to show signs of life, Grand Forks catfish guide Brad Durick said, In the Fargo area, Durick said anglers are reporting good numbers of catfish coming from the snags. The Grand Forks area is picking up, as well, with more than a week of stable, hot weather. Durick said he's starting to see quite a few post-spawn catfish, with good numbers of smaller cats and the occasional big fish. The best fishing is still in the fast water along dropoffs or where current runs into holes. The outside edges of snags also are producing. Unlike weeks past, when the fish bite, they mean it, so there is no guesswork on when to set a hook. Sucker is the bait without question. Keep the bait fresh and stay on the move. If there are active fish, you will have them within a few minutes, Durick said, and will know whether to stay or move to a different spot.
UPPER RED LAKE
The 6- to 8-foot rocks and gravel on the south, east and north shorelines of the lake continue to provide steady walleye action. Minnows, leeches and crawlers all have produced fish, with the morning and evening hours being the most consistent. Several northern pike in the 40- to 45-inch class have been caught on spoons and crankbaits in 8 feet on the east shore and Center Bar.
Anglers are catching a few walleyes on Lake Plantagenet and Big Lake in 10 to 15 feet of water with crawlers and leeches. Trolling crankbaits during the evening hours in 6 to 12 feet on Lake Bemidji also has produced some walleyes. Muskie action still hasn't cranked up, but more fish are being seen, and panfish reports are strong at Portage Lake, Lake Beltrami, Turtle River Lake and Grace Lake.
CASS LAKE AREA
A jig and minnow or leech and live bait rig are the best options for walleyes on the bars in 14 to 20 feet or just off the bars in 30 to 35 feet of water. Crankbaits also work some nights on top of the bars for walleyes in less than 12 feet. Crankbaits are providing steady northern pike action on Lake Andrusia and in Allen's Bay on Cass. Bluegills remain active in 10 to 12 feet throughout Dicks Bay on Cass and Buck Lake. Muskie reports have been limited to some activity with bucktails during low-light periods.
LEECH LAKE AREA
Trolling crankbaits or slip bobbers and leeches are producing walleyes at night off the points and bars in 10 to 14 feet. Main-lake structure such as the humps in Walker Bay or the 16- to 21-foot breaks off the points and bars have been best during midday hours and especially if the wind is blowing. Anglers continue to raise muskies in the cabbage of Portage Bay and the main-lake flats.
The main-lake bars and humps continue to be the most consistent options for walleyes in 16 to 22 feet of water. Live-bait rigs or spinner rigs tipped with nightcrawlers and leeches are working best. Perch reports have been limited, although some good-sized fish have been pulled from the weeds; northern pike have been small but active on the lake's weed lines.
Leeches, small sucker minnows and nightcrawlers are producing walleyes on lakes Melissa, Sallie, Lida, Big Cormorant, Big Pine, Little Pine and Pelican in 18 to 30 feet. Muskies continue to hit CowGirls on the humps and weedlines of Big Detroit Lake and Pelican. Look for sunfish in 8 to 14 feet on Floyd Lake, Sour Lake and Height of Land Lake. Bass and northern pike are an easy catch on most lakes with live bait or plastics.
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Big Mantrap Lake is kicking out northern pike and muskies along the 12- to 14-foot weed lines. Leeches and crawlers are the best option for walleyes at Long Lake in 20 to 30 feet. Bluegills remain active on the Crow Wing Chain in 8 to 12 feet, and crappies can be had on the 14-foot weed edges of Fish Hook Lake, Potato Lake and Crow Wing during the evening hours. Bass are an easy catch on the weed lines of most lakes with plastics or spinnerbaits.