AREA FISHING REPORT
Lake of the Woods
Anglers are catching limits of walleyes in the Three Sisters area on spinners tipped with crawlers, leeches and minnows. Closer to the south shore, limits also have been taken on downriggers in 30 to 32 feet of water. The Lighthouse Gap, Morris Point, Long Point and Garden Island areas have all been productive. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes are an easy catch from 10 to 30 feet around Oak Island, Little Oak Island and, in Canadian waters, Johnston Passage. On the Rainy River, sturgeon again are very active.
Fishing has been pretty good during the past month since the water clarity diminished, according to the latest report from Ed's Bait Shop. Walleyes are hitting a variety of presentations, including live bait with spinners and bottom bouncers in 12 to 25 feet of water, trolling deep-diving crankbaits in the same depths, casting crankbaits along weed lines in 5 to 12 feet of water, fishing live bait below slip bobbers in the trees in 10 to 15 feet and jigging deep points and rock piles in 18 to 35 feet of water, the report said. Shore anglers are having their best luck using live-bait rigs with a leech or crawler in areas such as the bridges on state Highway 19, the dike south of Ed's Bait Shop and the rocky shoreline west of the airport on Highway 19. Mornings and evenings have provided the best shore action, the report said.
There doesn't seem to be a preferred pattern right now for catfish, which means you can catch them any way you'd like, Grand Forks catfish guide Brad Durick said. The mid-river holes, snags, troughs and even shallow water all are holding fish, but look to fast current areas for bigger cats. Frogs and sucker minnows remain the most productive baits. Great reports also are coming from the Red near Drayton, N.D., and the Canadian stretch of the river near Lockport, Man., where anglers using goldeyes and suckers are finding good numbers of 20-plus-pound catfish.
Upper Red Lake
Walleye action has been better in recent days with crawlers, leeches and even crankbaits on the humps, south shore breaks and near the mouth of Shotley Brook. The occasional big northern pike also is caught by walleye anglers along the breaks and Tamarack River areas.
Walleyes are hitting crawlers during the day in 14 to 25 feet of water and crankbaits up shallower at night on Lake Bemidji. Bluegills are being caught in the weeds of most lakes with Grace, Hennepin and Grant providing the best numbers and size. The best option for muskies has been prop baits or top-water lures during low-light periods on Bemidji and Lake Plantagenet.
Anglers are catching a few small walleyes in Blackduck Lake, using crawlers and leeches along the weeds in 12 feet of water. The 8- to 10-foot cabbage on Gull Lake is holding bluegills, and plastics continue to produce plenty of bass on North Twin and South Twin lakes.
Leech Lake area
The slip bobber and leech bite has been consistent during the evening hours off Pine Point, Sand Point and main-lake rocks in 10 to 12 feet of water. The daytime walleye bite has been tough, with a few big fish coming off the deep humps of Walker Bay. After dark, troll crankbaits off the points for walleyes in 6 to 12 feet of water. It's been an excellent week of muskie fishing, with bucktails and topwaters producing fish in the weeds of Portage Bay, Sucker Bay, Agency Bay and Kabekona Bay.
Perch action has improved on the northwest corner and west side of the lake in 14 to 16 feet of water. Look for rocks and weeds to be holding bigger fish. The outside weed lines also are holding keeper-sized walleyes, many of which are being taken with Shad Raps. The main-lake bars and humps are giving up walleyes in 18 to 30 feet of water on nightcrawlers and leeches. Northern pike activity has picked up on the weed lines and bars.
Walleyes are hitting crawlers and small sucker minnows in 20 to 25 feet of water on lakes Melissa, Big Detroit, Sallie, Pelican and Big Cormorant. Look for sunfish on the weed lines of lakes Melissa, Big Detroit, Sour, Floyd and Severson. CowGirls continue to raise muskies on the humps of Pelican and Big Detroit during low-light periods. Bass and pike action is strong in the weeds of most lakes.
Park Rapids area
Fish Hook Lake continues to produce walleyes in 20 to 30 feet of water on live bait or in shallower water during low-light periods with crankbaits. Bass are scattered from 5 to 20 feet but are very active on most lakes.