OUTDOORS REPORT: Area fishing and skiing report
Lake of the Woods
Walleye and sauger action has been best on the mud in 26 to 28 feet or 30 to 32 feet of water. Farther north near Knight and Bridges islands, the reefs are producing walleyes, saugers and jumbo perch in 29 to 31 feet. Tip-ups and sucker minnows are producing northern pike in the bays in 8 to 12 feet. On the Rainy River and Four-Mile Bay, walleyes are being found in deeper pockets near the mouth of the river, the Baudette, Minn., airport or near Clementson Bay.
At the Northwest Angle and Oak Island, Allen Edman of Edman’s Angling Adventures says auger extensions are required, there is a lot of ice and snow, and the end of ice fishing this season is nowhere near. As the fronts move through, the day bite has been variable; some days, fish are biting all day, and on the high pressure post-frontal days, midday action slows considerably. The afternoon and evening has been more than making up for it, with limits or near limits of saugers and walleye coming from 3 to 6 p.m. The after-dark bite has deteriorated for anglers staying on the ice in overnight “sleeper” houses. Best fishing has been in 16 to 22 feet of water, with the 28- to 30-foot depths less consistent. Both jigging and bobber presentations are working well, Edman said.
The latest bout of nasty weather likely has kept many anglers off the ice, but according to the most recent report from fishing guide Mark Bry, perch action has been “up and down.” Fishing is still good, overall, Bry said, but it’s easier to track them down on the days when cold and wind don’t force anglers to hunker down. Best action has been in 25 to 45 feet of water. Best walleye action traditionally is early and late in the day. Eater-size walleyes have dominated the catch of late, Bry said, but some dandy pike have been landed.
Fishing for “greenback” walleyes continues to heat up on the west side of the lake, according to fishing guide Jason Hamilton. Walleyes are pushing south daily along the west shoreline and are fairly shallow — 6 to 10 feet of water. Long auger extensions, tracks and a way to extract yourself if you get stuck in deep snow or slush are crucial, Hamilton said. Another 8 inches of new snow this week and more in the forecast means slush will become even more of an issue going forward, Hamilton said.
Look for suspended crappies over 18 to 26 feet of water on Lower Sucker Lake. Some of the best action has taken place during midday hours. On Lake Bemidji, perch are being found on the mud in 25 to 35 feet, with the morning and afternoon hours providing the best action.
Perch action has been favorable in 6 to 14 feet of water on Round Lake or 6 to 20 feet on Island Lake. Look for suspended crappies over 20 feet during the evening hours on Blackduck Lake. Bluegill reports have been best in 14 to 20 feet on Lake Pimushe, Gull Lake and Rabideau Lake.
Cass Lake area
Work the 8- to 12-foot sand areas with weeds for perch on Pike Bay and Cass Lake. Crappies are being found suspended over 30 to 35 feet on Kitchi Lake, Wolf Lake and Cass during the evening hours. You’ll find tullibees and whitefish suspended over 30 feet or deeper on Wolf and Kitchi, as well.
Perch action is improving off Grassy Point, Duck Point and the Goose Island Flats in 6 to 14 feet of water. North Walker Bay also is giving up perch in 10 to 12 feet. Look to Shingobee Bay for crappies in 20 feet, and a few tullibees have started hitting during the mornings east of Stony Point over deep water.
The main-lake bars continue to kick out perch in 14 to 16 feet of water, as do the shoreline breaks and points in 12 to 14 feet. The key to putting together a good bunch of fish is staying on the move and hole-hopping with jigging spoons and minnow heads.
Tullibees have started hitting waxworms over 40 to 50 feet of water on Long Lake and Loon Lake. You’ll also find crappies on these lakes suspended over 25 to 30 feet. Look for sunfish in 12 to 14 feet on Little Detroit Lake, Lake Melissa, Severson Lake and Floyd Lake.
Park Rapids area
Look for bluegills in 10 to 12 feet of water on Straight Lake, Lake George and the Crow Wing Chain. Low-light periods have been best for crappies on Eagle Lake and the Crow Wing Chain over 20 feet.
Cross-country skiing report
- Grand Forks Greenway: Grooming of the cross-country ski trail from Riverside Dam to 47th Avenue South has been suspended until there is more fresh snow. The trails are usable in most areas, but compacted snow is preventing fresh grooming. The trails in Lincoln Drive Park continue to be groomed regularly.
- Turtle River State Park, N.D.: About half an inch of new snow fell this week. Trails last were groomed Feb. 21, and park staff said any grooming this week will depend on new snow. All trails are in fair condition, but poor in spots as the snow continues to deteriorate.
- Lake Bemidji State Park: Ski trails were groomed and tracked Tuesdayand are in excellent condition; 11-inch base; 10 miles groomed; local snow depth 9 inches.
- Lake Bronson State Park, Minn.: Trails were groomed Tuesday and are in excellent condition; 8½-inch base; seven miles groomed; local snow depth 18½ inches.
- Old Mill State Park, Minn.: Trails are open but won’t be groomed the rest of the season; 8-inch base; local snow depth 18 inches.
Downhill skiing report
- Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji: 12- to 36-inch base; 1 inch of new snow. Skiing and snowboarding hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Snow tubing hours: 4 to 9 p.m. today and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Info: bvskiarea.com.
- Frostfire Ski Area near Walhalla, N.D.: 12- to 25-inch base. Hours:9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today through Sunday. Info: frostfireskiarea.com.
Snowmobile trails report
- Red River South Trail (Grand Forks and Walsh counties): All trails are open and will be groomed by the weekend. Info: (701) 328-5377.
- Red River North Trail (Pembina and Walsh counties): All trails are open and will be groomed this weekend. Info: (701) 328-5377.
- Northeast Trail (Cavalier, Pembina and Walsh counties): All trails are open, and trails that were groomed this week were groomed before the winds picked up Wednesday. Info: (701) 328-5377.
- Lake Region Trail (Nelson and Ramsey counties): All trails except Trail 5 are open. Trail 3 and Trail 6 from Lakota to Brocket, N.D., will be groomed this week. Info: (701) 328-5377.
- Lake Bemidji State Park: The snowmobile trail was groomed Feb. 28 and is in excellent condition; 9-inch base; three miles groomed; local snow depth 22 inches.
- Lake Bronson State Park, Minn.: Good conditions; 8½-inch base; three miles groomed; local snow depth 18½ inches.
- Old Mill State Park, Minn.: Good condition; 8-inch base; one mile groomed; local snow depth 18 inches.