OUTDOOR REPORT: Area fishing, skiing and snowmobiling report
Lake of the Woods
Walleyes are starting to move, with good reports coming off the mud flats in 22 to 24 feet of water or 28 to 31 feet. Walleyes, saugers, tullibees and perch are being found in 30 to 32 feet near Knight and Bridges islands, Long Point and Gull Rock areas. Walleye reports off Pine Island have been best in 24 to 27 feet. The big northern pike have started hitting sucker minnows during afternoon hours in 6 to 10 feet or 13 to 15 feet. Walleyes also are moving on the Rainy River in 12 to 19 feet of water in front of the gaps leading to the lake and in front of the Baudette, Minn., airport. Reports from locals in the area indicated the Rainy River as of Wednesday was open between the Little Fork and Big Fork rivers closer to International Falls, Minn. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes, saugers, perch and crappies are hitting in 24 to 27 feet of water.
Perch fishing remains very good, reports Devils Lake fishing guide Mark Bry. Best perch action is in 30 to 45 feet of water, with most of the walleyes coming from 12 to 20 feet. Rattle spoons remain the go-to lures tipped with waxworms, spikes, minnows or minnow heads. The ice is still good, Bry said, but it’s the time of year when anglers should be extra careful near edges, cracks and current areas.
Perch are scattered on the mud throughout Lake Bemidji from 8 to 42 feet of water, but the bigger fish seem to be coming from 30 feet of water or deeper. Lake Pimushe is producing bluegills in 14 to 20 feet, and there’s an evening crappie bite on Campbell Lake in 18 to 22 feet.
Gull Lake is producing bluegills in 12 to 18 feet of water and crappies over 15 to 20 feet. Look to Rabideau Lake for crappies and bluegills in 14 to 20 feet. Perch action remains consistent on the 20-foot mud of Island Lake and in 5 to 10 feet on Blackduck Lake.
Cass Lake area
Perch action has improved along LeRoy’s Bar in Pike Bay or the Stony Point area and the north side of Star Island on Cass Lake in 6 to 8 feet of water. Look for crappies in the north arm of Kitchi Lake and Wolf Lake in 28 to 30 feet during the evening hours.
Staying mobile and hole-hopping continues to produce better catches of good-sized perch. The shoreline breaks and points along the west side are holding pods of perch in 12 to 15 feet of water. The main-lake bars also are giving up nice fish in 14 to 16 feet of water. It seems the bigger perch are more active when the sun is out.
Perch are biting in many areas, but the trick has been to find a school with better numbers of big fish in it. The Hardwoods, Sand Point, Goose Island and Grassy Point are all holding perch in 6 to 10 feet. Tullibee reports have been limited, but look to the deep water of Stony Point to start producing fish.
Look for sunfish and crappies on the outside weed edges of Little Detroit Lake, Deadshot Bay, Floyd Lake, Tamarack Lake and Lake Melissa in 10 to 12 feet of water. Crappies and tullibees are being found suspended over 40 feet or deeper on Long Lake by Vergas, Minn., along with Loon Lake, Lake Sallie and Rose Lake.
Park Rapids area
Look for bluegills in the Mill Pond area on Straight Lake in 12 to 14 feet of water. Fish Hook Lake is giving up bluegills in 10 to 13 feet, while Big Mantrap Lake is producing crappies — most are suspended over 25 to 28 feet — during the evening.
Cross-country skiing report
- Turtle River State Park, N.D.: The park has lost a lot of snow with the recent warmer temperatures, but there’s still enough on the trails and sledding hill for one last weekend. This will be the chalet and warming house’s last open weekend for the season. All three ski trails loops are in poor condition and likely will be closed after this weekend.
- Grand Forks Greenway: The winter cross-country skiing season appears to have come to an end.
- Lake Bemidji State Park: Warm weather followed by freezing temperatures have made ski trails icy. Waxless skis are best for these conditions. Trails are in poor condition and will be groomed when conditions allow; 11-inch base; 10 miles groomed; local snow depth 20 inches.
- Lake Bronson State Park, Minn.: Trails were groomed March 4 but are beginning to deteriorate with the warmer temperatures. Conditions are fair, with an 8½-inch base and seven miles at least partially groomed; local snow depth 19 inches.
- Old Mill State Park: Trails are open but are in poor condition and will not be groomed the rest of the season; 8-inch base; six miles groomed; local snow depth 18 inches.
Snowmobile trails report
- Lake Bemidji State Park: Fair snowmobiling conditions, with a 9-inch base and three miles groomed; local snow depth 20 inches.
- Lake Bronson State Park, Minn.: Good conditions, with an 8½-inch base and three miles groomed; local snow depth 19 inches.
- Old Mill State Park, Minn.: Trail is groomed and in good condition, with an 8-inch base; one mile groomed; local snow depth 18 inches.
- Lake Region Trail (Nelson and Ramsey counties): All trails except Trail 3 are closed. Info: (701) 328-5377.
- Northeast Trail (Cavalier, Pembina and Walsh counties): Trails are open. Info: (701) 328-5377.
- Red River North Trail (Pembina and Walsh counties): Closed from lack of snow.
- Red River South Trail (Grand Forks and Walsh counties): Closed from lack of snow.
Downhill skiing report
- Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji: 12- to 36-inch base, groomed. Skiing and snowboarding hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Snow tubing hours: 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Info: bvskiarea.com.
- Frostfire Ski Area near Walhalla, N.D.: 12- to 25-inch base, making snow when needed, open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Info: frostfireskiarea.com.