OUTDOORS REPORT: Area fishing report
Lake of the Woods
Walleyes are hitting jigs and minnows in 24 to 27 feet of water outside Lighthouse Gap, Morris Point Gap and in front of the "fields" by Zippel Bay. The mud flats just west of Zippel and Morris also are holding big numbers of walleyes in 23 to 25 feet during the day or in 14 to 16 feet in the afternoon and evening. A bright-colored jig and frozen shiner is a good bet for walleyes in front of Timbermill Park in Baudette, Minn., or Clementson Bay on the Rainy River in 15 to 18 feet of water. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes are sticking to deep, cool pockets and hitting a jig and minnow in 25 to 29 feet near Oak and Little Oak islands.
There's a good bite in shallow water for larger walleyes, reports Devils Lake fishing guide Mark Bry. The better walleyes are coming from 6 to 12 feet of water, where anglers are having the best luck pitching crankbaits or jigs and soft plastics, he said. The shallows also are holding numbers of pike, Bry said, and anglers are catching some bigger pike mixed in with the walleyes. For numbers, the most consistent walleye action is coming from 18 to 25 feet of water trolling crankbaits or a bottom bouncer-spinner combo tipped with live bait or plastics. The current areas are a good bet as long as there's water moving; if the water's not moving, work areas adjacent to the bridges, which always hold fish.
Upper Red Lake
If the wind calms down, look for walleyes in 5 to 8 feet of water along most shoreline areas to hit minnows. Grouse hunters are seeing a few more birds now that the cover has started to fall, while duck hunters are shooting local birds with no big push of divers into the area.
Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow on Blackduck Lake in 9 to 12 feet of water and on Island Lake in 8 to 10 feet or 18 to 20 feet. Crappies are suspended over 14 to 20 feet on Turtle River Lake, Pimushe Lake and Gilstead Lake during the afternoon and evening. Grouse hunting has improved.
Cass Lake area
Walleye action has improved with minnows and jigs in Allen's Bay on Cass Lake, with best reports coming from 20 to 25 feet of water. Look for crappies and a few walleyes on the 12- to 15-foot cabbage on Kitchi Lake, Lake Andrusia and Wolf Lake during the evening. Perch are near the reeds in 6 feet on Cass and Pike Bay. Trolling bucktails has triggered a few muskies on the rocks of Cass.
Walleye action has been sporadic. A jig and minnow has been the best daytime option on the wind-driven points and shorelines in 6 to 10 feet of water. The east shore of Walker Bay also is holding walleyes, but most have been big. At night, trolling crankbaits in less than 12 feet has produced walleyes around Sand Point, Cedar Point and Pine Point. Duck hunters are shooting mainly local birds with a few ringnecks in the mix.
A jig and minnow is providing spurts of walleye activity on the points and shoreline breaks in less than 12 feet of water. Minnows also are producing a few walleyes on the main-lake bars in 15 feet. You have to sort through some small fish, but perch are active in 6 to 9 feet, and northern pike continue to hit minnows and artificial baits on the 8- to 12-foot weed edges.
Park Rapids area
Low-light periods have been best for walleyes with minnows on Fish Hook Lake in 16 to 18 feet of water. Northern pike also are hitting minnows on Big Mantrap Lake in 6 to 8 feet. Duck hunting reports have slowed, with few new birds moving into the area, and grouse hunting continues to be tough.
A jig or live-bait rig tipped with minnows continues to produce walleyes in 15 to 20 feet of water on lakes Sallie, Melissa, Big Detroit and Pelican. Large sucker minnows and bucktails continue to trigger muskies along the 12-foot weeds of Big Detroit, Pelican and Beers lakes.
Area waterfowl update
• Devils Lake: No report available from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because of federal shutdown.
• Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area near Middle River, Minn.: An aerial survey Wednesday showed an estimated 3,106 Canada geese and 8,300 ducks; duck estimates consisted of 57 percent ringnecks, 25 percent redheads, 9 percent mallards, 3 percent gadwall, 2 percent wigeon and 1 percent canvasbacsk. Ringnecks have been the most common duck in the bag, followed by redheads, pintails and green-winged teal.
• Thief River Falls: Farmes Pool on Elm Like WMA remains in temporary drawdown for cattail control. No bird estimates or hunting reports were available.