OUTDOOR REPORT: Area fishing, skiing and smowmobiling report
Lake of the Woods
Walleyes and saugers are most active during the morning and evening from Rocky Point to the Long Point, Zippel Bay and Graceton Beach areas in 24 to 26 feet of water. Reports are decent at Lighthouse Gap and Pine Island in 17 to 19 feet or 22 to 28 feet; hug close to Pine or head north five to six miles. Northern pike action is picking up in Zippel Bay, Bostic Bay and Four Mile Bay in 9 to 12 feet with suckers. On the Rainy River, open water is visible 15 miles east of Birchdale, Minn., while ice fishing is good in 17 to 19 feet. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes, perch, pike and tullibees are hitting in 22 to 26 feet, and crappies are being caught across the border. Monday is the last day permanent houses can be on the ice.
Perch fishing has been good, at times, during the past week with some tough days mixed in during weather fronts, the Perch Patrol Guide Service reports. Best action has been in deeper water ranging from 29 feet to 52 feet. Local anglers have reported a good walleye bite in 12 feet of water late in the day, and good reports also have come from Pelican Lake. The cool weather has helped keep access points in relatively good condition, and the ice remains more than 40 inches thick.
Perch continue to hit throughout the day on Blackduck Lake in 6 to 10 feet of water. On Gull Lake, crappies and bluegills are hitting in 14 to 18 feet, while Pimushe Lake is producing bluegills in 18 to 22 feet.
Cass Lake area
Crappie and bluegill action remains slow, but perch are being caught. Look to the flats on the south side of Star Island or north side of Cedar Island on Cass Lake in 6 to 8 feet of water. Pike Bay continues to produce perch in 6 to 8 feet out from the south-end access and northeast corner sand and grass area.
Perch are an easy catch — you just have to sort through numbers of small fish — and bigger baits tend to produce bigger perch. Look to Sand Point, Goose Island, the Hardwoods and Duck Points in 5 to 9 feet of water. Tullibee reports were limited this week off Stony Point, and travel conditions in that area are difficult because of slush.
A jig-and-minnow combination is working best for perch, and hole hopping is the ticket to a limit of bigger fish. The Bird Houses area, Sugar Point, Hunter’s Hump and south of Raven’s Point have been best in 13 to 16 feet or 30 to 32 feet of water. The morning and evening hours have been most productive.
N.D. light goose update
Most of the snow goose migration remains to the south, but large numbers of birds could move into the state this weekend, when temperatures are forecast to hit the 60s, at least in the southern part of the state. Snow geese already have been observed in southeast and south-central North Dakota.
Downhill skiing report
- Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji: Saturday marks the last day of the season, and the ski area is offering a Try Everything Special (ski, snowboard and tube) for $20 as part of its Customer Appreciation Day. Hours are 10 a.m. to noon. Info: bvskiarea.com.
- Frostfire Ski Area near Walhalla, N.D.: 12- to 25-inch base; all runs open. Hours 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday only. Info: frostfireskiara.com.
Snowmobile trails report
This will be the last snowmobile trails report of the season.
- Beltrami Island State Forest East near Baudette, Minn.: Trail is in good condition with a 14-inch base and 52½ miles groomed; local snow depth 25 inches.
- Big Bog State Recreation Area near Waskish, Minn.: Trail is in very good condition with a 12-inch base; 8 to 12 inches of snow fell March 21, and cool temperatures since then should keep the trails in shape through the weekend. Minnesota grant-in-aid snowmobile trails close Tuesday.