OUTDOOR REPORT: Area fishing report
Lake of the Woods
Pike are ready to run shallow, with bigger fish being taken on sucker minnows in Zippel Bay and Four-Mile Bay in 8 to 10 feet of water. The spring walleye season ended Monday on the Rainy River The Birchdale, Minn., and Frontier accesses are open for any size boat, and open water extends nearly to Baudette, Minn. Catch-and-release sturgeon action has been good on the river.
Ice fishing is winding down, and ice conditions have deteriorated to the point where venturing onto the ice is no longer encouraged, Devils Lake Tourism reported Thursday in a fishing report on its website. Shorelines are melting, and moving water near bridge areas and coulees are starting to open. Open water reports are limited, but a few anglers have been going out and are reporting some pike running in the coulees in the Garske, N.D., area and north of Lake Alice. Anglers also are reporting some nice walleyes being caught in the Channel A and Churches Ferry, N.D., bridges in the open water at dusk. With warmer temperatures expected this weekend, more anglers likely will venture out, and available fishing areas will expand. Good spring spots include the coulees in the Garske area, the Mauvais Coulee between Pelican Lake and Lake Irvine and the coulees north of Lake Alice, the Chamber report said.
Although the main-lake ice is still strong, the accesses are getting beaten up, and the number of people fishing has been limited. It seems as though most people have put away the ice-fishing gear for the season and are content waiting for open water.
ATVs should be an option on area lakes through this weekend. Perch continue to be caught in 6 to 25 feet of water on Island Lake and Round Lake. Crappies are hitting during the evening hours over 20 feet of water on Blackduck Lake. Look to Gull Lake and Pimushe Lake for bluegills in 10 to 20 feet.
Cass Lake area
The 6- to 8-foot sand/weed flats of Pike Bay and Cass Lake continue to produce perch. Bluegills and a few crappies are being found in over 18 feet of water at Lower Sucker, Middle Sucker and Upper Sucker lakes. Be careful on the ice at this point, as the shorelines and current areas are starting to open. Anything with moving water has started to open in pockets.
Despite some cooler weather this week, many access points and shorelines have deteriorated beyond the point of allowing people to get on the lake. As a result, fishing pressure has been minimal since last weekend, and if you plan on going this weekend, check with resorts to see if they are still letting people on the ice.
Some accesses are getting beat up, but ATVs were being used early this week, and some of the best perch spots are accessible on foot. Look for perch in less than 10 feet of water along the south shore and out from the West Winnie Campground access.
Fishermen were still walking on some lakes early this week, but many shorelines now have pulled far enough away to prevent people from going. The main-lake ice is also black, and some lakes have small holes of open water, so fishing is no longer advised.
Park Rapids area
The shorelines are preventing people from getting on area lakes, so ice-fishing options have ended. A few brown trout are being taken with crawlers on the Straight River, although the bite has been inconsistent during the first week of the season.
N.D. light goose update
Plenty of activity happened over the weekend, with mild temperatures causing birds to be on the move, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department reported in its most recent light goose update. Snow geese reportedly are beginning to make their way into Canada, while most of the birds that remain in the state are north of Interstate 94. Snow geese will continue to trickle through the state over the next couple weeks.