OUTDOORS REPORT: Area fishing and hunting report
Lake of the Woods
Walleyes and saugers continue to be caught in 13 to 17 feet of water by Long Point, Zippel Bay, Graceton Beach, Morris Point, off Pine Island in 16 to 20 feet and in 19 to 24 feet in front of Lighthouse Gap. Tip-ups and sucker minnows are a good bet for northern pike in 8 to 10 feet in Zippel Bay, Bostic Bay, Four-Mile Bay and adjacent to Lighthouse Gap. On the Rainy River, open water is evident 10 miles east of Birchdale, Minn., but the only open water fishing reports are coming from International Falls, Minn., where walleyes are hitting jigs and minnows below the dam. At the Northwest Angle, fishing remains excellent, and anglers are accessing the lake with snowmobiles and portable shelters. Walleye fishing on Lake of the Woods and other Minnesota-Ontario border waters is open through April 14.
Fishing reports are short on specifics, but perch action remains good for anglers who find the active schools, and there’s plenty of ice remaining for anyone who wants to get out and try their luck before open water fishing begins. Look for pike to hit smelt or herring fished below tip-ups in shallow water throughout the day and walleyes in shallow during low-light periods. The area got 10 inches of snow in Monday’s storm, and with warmer temperatures on tap for the weekend, access points again will become sloppy. Remember to buy that new fishing license, too, as the new license year began Tuesday.
Perch action remains strong in 20 feet of water on Lake Bemidji and 18 feet on Lake Plantagenet. The fish are constantly moving, so a “run-and-gun” approach will produce more and bigger fish. Crappies are being found suspended over 20 to 25 feet, with some fish being found shallower, on Welch Lake and Medicine Lake; bluegill reports are limited.
Bluegill action remains consistent in 12 to 16 feet of water on Gull Lake. Perch reports have been best on Blackduck Lake in 5 to 10 feet, just outside the edges of the bulrushes. You’ll also find suspended crappies on Blackduck in 20 to 22 feet.
Anglers continue to sort through small perch but are finding enough “keepers” to keep matters interesting. Areas such as Goose Island, Cedar Point, Pine Point and both Duck points are worth hitting in 5 to 10 feet of water. Tullibee action has been best during the morning hours over 30 to 35 feet off Stony Point. The north end of Sucker Bay started giving up crappies in 18 to 25 feet.
Cass Lake area
Look for crappies over 28 to 32 feet of water on Kitchi Lake, Wolf Lake and Lower Sucker Lake. Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake and Pimushe Lake are giving up bluegills in 18 to 20 feet. The northeast corner of Pike Bay or the shallow flats off Star and Cedar islands on Cass continue to kick out perch in 6 to 8 feet of water.
Ice fishing action has been very limited, now that most resorts have stopped maintaining roads for the season. The area also received 6 to 8 inches of snow on Monday night, so it’s probably best to call ahead for lake conditions heading into this weekend. The few people fishing are finding tullibees in deep water off main-lake structure and perch in 12 to 15 feet of water early and late or 30 to 34 feet during the day.
Anglers are pulling a mixed bag of panfish from 12 to 16 feet of water on Floyd Lake, Little Floyd Lake, Sour Lake, Lake Melissa, Little Detroit Lake and Deadshot Bay. Wax worms are working best for tullibees, which are being found suspended high in the water column over 30 feet or deeper on Lake Sallie, Loon Lake, Long Lake by Vergas, Minn., and Melissa.
Park Rapids area
The Mill Pond area of Straight Lake continues to produce bluegills in 8 to 10 feet, but you have to sort through quite a few small fish. Sunfish also are hitting on the Crow Wing Chain of Lakes in 10 to 12 feet, while crappie action has been slow.
N.D. light goose update
Before Monday’s spring blizzard, snow geese were seen moving north through much of the state, with some reaching as far as Devils Lake. However, up to a foot of snow fell throughout the day, and more snow was falling Thursday. The forecast calls for highs in the 30s today and the 40s Saturday and Sunday.