OUTDOORS REPORT: Area fishing report
Lake of the Woods
Walleyes now are more spread out, and fishing methods are changing. Anchoring and jigging is still popular in front of Long Point, Twin Islands, Zippel Bay, Morris Point, Lighthouse Gap, West Bar near Garden Island and the reefs near Knight and Bridges islands in 20 to 26 feet of water. Drifting with spinners and crawlers is producing fish in shallower water in those locations, as well. Walleye action is also strong in 17 feet from Long Point to Graceton Beach and in 6 to 15 feet near Lighthouse Gap and Pine Island. The Rainy River is giving up walleyes in 15 to 18 feet of water, where strong current requires heavy jigs; work the edges of the bays and current with crankbaits for smallmouth bass.
In the Northwest Angle area, Scott Edman of Edman’s Angling Adventures says fishing is good, and anglers fishing Canadian waters are catching pike, muskies and large walleyes while casting spoons, swim baits and spinnerbaits over emerging weeds. Points, windy shorelines and offshore structures all have been turning out good numbers of eater-size walleyes with some big females also in the mix. Smallmouth bass have begun turning up on the boulder shorelines and points, and there are some big pike being caught there, as well. Lake trout fishing remains solid in deep-water areas such as Whitefish Bay. In Minnesota waters of the Angle, Little Oak, Oak, Brush and the Four Blocks islands areas are good places to start, Edman said. The mayfly hatch will begin soon, and Edman said a lot of the walleyes he’s cleaned already are eating mayfly larvae.
It’s all about finding the “right” water right now, Devils Lake fishing guide Mark Bry reports. Stirred-up, stained water will produce the most action, he said; many bays remain clear, and fishing is slower in those areas. Anglers are catching a mix of walleyes, pike and white bass in 2 to 12 feet of water pitching jig-and-plastic combos or crankbaits. Bobbers also have worked, at times, Bry said, and some anglers are catching fish by trolling bottom bouncers and spinners.
Catfish have started spawning, but anglers who put in the time will still catch some nice fish, Grand Forks catfish guide Brad Durick says. The best spots are tight to cut banks near some sort of structure adjacent to the main channel. By fishing those areas, anglers will locate spawning fish as well as any active fish that may not have spawned. With the cooler temperatures of the past few days, Durick says anglers will need to stay on the move but still should give each spot 25 to 30 minutes, which is slightly longer than normal. Expect to have some short bites so it is best to use a bigger hook such as an 8/0 and thread the bait onto the hook so the fish has no choice but to grab it. Suckers and frogs have been the best baits this past week, Durick said, adding that river conditions around Grand Forks are ideal.
Upper Red Lake
Walleye action remains strong along most shorelines in 5 to 8 feet of water. The transition from a jig-and-minnow combination to spinner rigs or crankbaits is starting, but all methods are catching fish. A few crappies remain in the mix, with limited reports of big northern pike.
Leeches or minnows are worth tossing at walleyes on the 6- to 18-foot cabbage on Lake Plantagenet or 6 to 15 feet on Lake Bemidji. The weed lines on Bemidji are producing northern pike and a few muskies, as well. Lake Lomond is providing a mixed bag of panfish in 4 to 8 feet of water, and Walker Brook Lake is producing crappies in 3 to 6 feet.
Walleyes are biting leeches and crawlers in 8 to 12 feet on Blackduck Lake, and minnows are producing crappies in 6 to 8 feet. Plastics or spinnerbaits are taking bass on North and South Twin lakes, while Gull Lake is giving up bluegills in 3 to 6 feet.
Cass Lake area
Live bait rigs and crawlers are producing walleyes in 15 feet on Cass Lake, Pike Bay Lake and Lake Andrusia. Panfish remain active in 4 to 6 feet on Kitchi Lake, and small crankbaits have produced muskies in Allen’s Bay on Cass. The bulrushes on the southwest end of Pike Bay are giving up perch and rock bass.
Walleye action during the day has been slow, with a few fish coming off First and Second Point in 11 to 14 feet on jigs and minnows. Some fish are being caught on live bait rigs and crawlers on the wind-driven shorelines in 11 to 15 feet as well. During the evening hours, crankbaits are working best for walleyes off Goose Island, Bear Island, Sand Point and Cedar Point. Work around Minnesota Island with spinnerbaits for largemouth bass.
Live bait rigs and leeches are working best for walleyes in 7 to 10 feet at Moxes Hole and the Bird Houses area. Northern pike remain mixed in with walleyes, and bigger perch are being found in 14 to 17 feet by the Bird Houses.
Work the shorelines out to 10 feet for panfish on lakes Melissa, Deadshot Bay, Sallie, Little Detroit, Big Detroit, Sour, Severson and Floyd. Walleyes are hitting live-bait rigs tipped with leeches or crawlers in 10 to 16 feet on lakes Melissa, Big Detroit, Big Cormorant, Pelican, Sallie, Lizzie and Lida. Bass and pike fishing is consistent on most lakes, while Big Detroit and Pelican are giving up small muskies.
Park Rapids area
Walleyes are hitting leeches and crawlers in 9 to 12 feet of water on Potato Lake and Fish Hook Lake. Bluegills are hanging in 3 to 6 feet at Lake Belle Taine, Big Toad Lake and the Crow Wing Chain. Bass continue to be found in shallow water on Big Mantrap Lake, Fish Hook and Potato, while Long Lake is giving up northern pike in 9 to 14 feet. Rainbow trout are hitting crawlers or Power Bait on Bad Medicine Lake in 15 feet.