OUTDOORS REPORT: Area fishing report
Lake of the Woods
Spinner rigs tipped with crawlers or leeches are producing walleyes along the entire south shore in areas such as Twin Islands, Long Point, the Fields, Zippel Bay, Morris Point and Lighthouse Gap in 5 to 15 feet of water. Big Traverse Bay, Garden, Knight, Bridges and Little Oak islands also are giving up fish in 12 to 30 feet, with some reports of walleyes being caught on jigs in 26 to 32 feet.
In the Warroad, Minn., area, a jig and frozen shiner combination or bottom bouncers and crawlers are producing walleyes in 5 to 10 feet of water. Some of the most consistent reports are coming from Muskeg Bay to the south tip of Buffalo Point during the day.
In the Northwest Angle area, Scott Edman of Edman’s Angling Adventures says fishing remains good for all species, but the recent winds and rains have kept water temps in the mid to low 60s. In Canadian waters, walleye anglers continue to find fish around reefs, points, and current areas using jig-and-minnow combos. Productive depths have ranged from less than 10 feet to more than 30 feet on the mud around structure. The mayfly hatch has begun in earnest, and anglers will do best by avoiding the areas with recent hatches. Muskie anglers are seeing and catching nice fish in sand bays, weedy areas and along boulder shorelines and points. Smallmouth bass are still going strong on the shorelines, and the large pike have been showing up on reefs and point areas and are being caught by walleye anglers. A second big pike pattern is still going in the back bays with heavy weed cover.
In Minnesota waters, the Flag Island flats, Lunatic Island and Little Oak areas have been productive for anglers trolling spinners or crankbaits.
“The walleye bite is ridiculous,” reports Devils Lake fishing guide and tournament angler Johnnie Candle. Anglers are catching fish using a variety of techniques along weed edges in 11 to 14 feet of water. Find a school of active walleyes, Candle says, and limits are literally coming in minutes, not hours. Gold and Perch patterns have been the best followed by Silvers and Whites. Some of the best areas are New Mill Bay, Golden Pond, the railroad tracks in Pelican Lake and Brown’s Bay to the east. The largest fish are coming by casting crankbaits or jigs tipped with soft plastics. Pike are mixed in with the walleyes, Candle says, though not in the numbers he saw earlier. White bass action also can be nonstop for anglers who find an active school.
Upper Red Lake
There’s still a solid walleye bite along the 5- to 8-foot breaks on the north and east shorelines. There’s also consistent walleye action coming off the south-shore rock humps and reed edges in 4 to 7 feet of water. A few nice pike remain in the mix, but crappie reports have become less common.
Leeches, crawlers or crankbaits are producing walleyes along the 6- to 8-foot cabbage on the north end of Lake Bemidji and in the 6- to 14-foot cabbage on Lake Plantagenet. Crappies and bluegills are hitting in 6 to 9 feet of water on Turtle River Lake and 3 to 6 feet at Three Island Lake. Look to Grant Lake and Grace Lake for sunfish in 6 to 10 feet, and muskies are chasing small bucktails in the shallow cabbage on Bemidji.
Drifting leeches or crawlers in 10 to 14 feet of water has been the ticket for walleyes on Blackduck Lake, Gull Lake and Island Lake. Hit the cabbage or reed edges on Gull and Pimushe Lake for bluegills or Gilstead Lake and Pimushe for crappies. Northern pike and bass are active on the weedlines of most lakes.
Things have been changing on Leech Lake the past week. The main lake has seen a few may fly hatches, but water temps and fish locations have not changed substantially. Walker Bay still is producing good walleye action on the shoreline breaks in 11 to 20 feet of water. Depths vary, depending on the day and conditions. Live bait rigs with leeches, crawlers or even pitching a jig and minnow is producing fish. The Cedar Shoreline, Sand Point and the areas around Templar and Breezy Bar have all been good places to start your search for walleyes. Meanwhile, the main lake has been hit-and-miss. Some days the rock bite has been good in areas such as the Annex, Submarine, Mokey and North Bar pulling spinners and crawlers, and other days the fish are scattered. With the east winds of late, West Goose Flats has produced fish as well as Big Hardwoods in 11 to 15 feet of water pulling live bait rigs and crawlers or leeches.
With the exception of some bigger fish coming off the main-lake bars, walleye action has been slow throughout the lake. You will find plenty of northern pike on the bars in 16 to 18 feet and numbers of perch along the shoreline breaks in 8 to 15 feet.
Cass Lake area
Live bait rigs and leeches are producing walleyes in 12 to 20 feet of water on Wishbone Bar, East Cedar Bar and Paul’s Point on Cass Lake. The 6-foot sand on Cass is holding perch, and the weedlines on Lake Andrusia, Wolf Lake or Cass are producing northern pike. Bluegill reports remain strong on the east side of Kitchi Lake in 6 feet.
Crappies and sunfish continue to hit on the 10- to 12-foot weedlines of Big Detroit Lake, Lake Melissa, Floyd Lake, Sour Lake and Severson Lake. Live bait is providing steady walleye action in 13 to 18 feet on lakes Melissa, Big Detroit, Sallie, Pelican, and Big Cormorant. Bass and pike are hitting everywhere and muskies are chasing topwater baits on the weedlines of Big Detroit and Pelican.
Park Rapids area
Walleyes can be had with leeches or nightcrawlers in 18 to 21 feet on Potato Lake and in 21 to 24 feet on Fish Hook Lake. Sucker minnows are triggering northern pike in 14 feet on Big Mantrap Lake and the Crow Wing Chain. Plastics are producing largemouth bass in 12 to 14 feet on Lake Belle Taine, Two Inlets Lake and Fish Hook, while live bait is triggering smallmouth bass on Potato and Big Sand Lake. Bad Medicine Lake and Long Lake (North) are giving up rainbow trout over 40 feet of water.