OUTDOOR REPORT: Area fishing report
Lake of the Woods
Walleyes are slowly moving to deeper water along the south shore from Long Point to Graceton Beach, where jigs and frozen shiners are working in 28 to 30 feet of water or drifting with spinners in 14 to 16 feet. From Morris Point Gap heading toward Lighthouse Gap, 12 to 20 feet has been best, and crankbaits are triggering walleyes in 6 to 14 feet of water along Pine Island. Jigging has started working for walleyes farther north toward Knight and Bridges reefs in 25 to 32 feet. On the Rainy River, smallmouth bass reports have been favorable, walleyes remain shallow and pike are hitting in the tributaries.
In the Northwest Angle area, Scott Edman of Edman’s Angling Adventures says fishing has been “surprisingly good” in most areas of the lake, considering the ice has only been off for about two weeks. Water temperatures are in the 60s in most areas, Edman said. In Canadian waters, he said walleyes seem to be hitting all over, from shallow shorelines and rock piles to deep rock points and dropoffs. Keep moving until you hit active fish. Some nice post-spawn females are being caught along with the eater fish. Smallmouth bass have been holding deep off the shorelines, Edman said, but will move shallow to begin spawning any day now. Expect to find plenty of pike in the shallow back bays. Lake trout anglers in deeper areas such as Whitefish Bay also have been doing well, Edman said. In Minnesota waters, walleye anglers have been doing well around Oak Island trolling spinners and crankbaits.
Fishing is good, Devils Lake guide Mark Bry says. Anglers who target protected, shallow bays can expect to encounter white bass, pike and walleyes, Bry said, and stained water has been more productive than clear water. The best approach is to pitch jigs and soft plastics or crankbaits in 1 to 6 feet of water. Colors can vary from day to day, but all the regulars have been good: fire tiger, perch and hot steel. There also are some walleyes being caught on leeches fished on plain hooks below slip bobbers in 8 to 12 feet of water. Bry said he also has heard reports of anglers having success with bottom bouncers and spinners or trolling crankbaits.
Catfishing on the Red remains good with many nice fish coming in, Grand Forks catfish guide Brad Durick reports. The best locations seem to be on structure with a slower current. Fish are biting both shallow and deep so try it all and stay on the move. All bait seems to be working, with none any better than the other; even spray additives to recharge older baits are working, Durick said. With water temperatures in the low 70s, catfish soon will begin spawning. Overall water conditions are about perfect so get out and have fun.
Upper Red Lake
Walleye action is strong in 5 to 9 feet of water along most shorelines. A jig and minnow is working, although some anglers are starting to troll spinners and live bait with success, as well. Crappies continue to be mixed with walleyes in shallow water.
Walleyes are hitting a jig and shiner and a few leeches in 6 to 12 feet of water on Wolf Lake and Lake Bemidji. Look for crappies in the bulrushes and shallow weeds on Lake Beltrami, Grace Lake and Big Turtle Lake. Sunfish are just starting to move onto the shorelines, and bass are an easy catch in shallow water.
Walleyes are hitting leeches and crawlers in 8 to 12 feet of water on Blackduck Lake and Island Lake. Look for crappies in 8 feet on Blackduck; bluegills have moved shallow on Rabideau Lake and Gull Lake.
Walleyes have become a bit more scattered, with 9 to 12 feet producing the most fish off Otter Tail Point, Cedar Point, the rock piles and in Sucker Bay. A few bigger walleyes are being pulled off the deep breaks and humps in Walker Bay. Minnows continue to work, but leeches and crawlers are producing fish as well. Look for perch and pike to be mixed with the walleyes, while panfish and bass reports have been limited.
A jig and shiner or live bait rig and leech are producing walleyes on the west side points and shoreline breaks in 6 to 8 feet of water. In the Highbanks area, walleyes are coming off the 14- to 18-foot breaks. Look for perch to be mixed in with the walleyes, although bigger fish are coming from slightly deeper water; northern pike are hitting minnows in 10 to 12 feet of water.
Cass Lake area
Shiners or leeches are producing walleyes during the day in 15 to 18 feet of water near O’Neil’s Point and Norway Beach and on Center Bar and LeRoy’s Bar in Pike Bay. There’s also a good walleye bite at sunset on the north end of Cass in 8 feet. Look for pike in the 10- to 12-foot cabbage and bass in less than 4 feet on most lakes. Panfish are hitting in 2 to 4 feet of water on Kitchi Lake.
Park Rapids area
Walleyes are hitting crawlers and minnows in 9 to 12 feet of water on Fish Hook Lake and Potato Lake. Big Mantrap Lake is kicking out northern pike in 7 to 10 feet on sucker minnows, and crappies are hitting in the shallow bays. Look to the shorelines of Lake Itasca for walleyes and bluegills.