OUTDOORS REPORT: Area fishing report
Lake of the Woods
Anglers are catching limits of walleyes using hammered gold spinners and crawlers in 26 to 28 feet of water off Stony Point, the west bar of Garden Island and Starren Shoals. The Lighthouse Gap and Pine Island areas have been most productive in 8 to 16 feet, and there are reports of good action trolling with downriggers. Trolling crankbaits has produced pike along the south shore in 6 to 8 feet of water. The Baudette, Minn., area received nearly 4 inches of rain inMonday night’s storm, which has raised the levels of the Rainy River even higher, and anglers and boaters should be on the lookout for a new wave of wood and other debris.
In the Northwest Angle area, Scott Edman of Edman’s Angling Adventures reports walleye action has been great. The mayfly hatch hasn’t finished yet, he said, but the walleye bite is still hot. Jigging the rock reefs has been producing numbers of “keeper” fish and plenty of 20-plus-inch walleyes. In Canadian waters, Massacre Island has been one of the better areas, although most reefs on the Ontario side are holding fish. In Minnesota waters, look for the best action around the Oak Island and Little Oak Island areas, Starren Shoals and the reefs at Knight and Bridges.
Muskie and pike anglers have been doing better lately, Edman said, although high winds and the algae bloom have made casting in some areas difficult. Smallmouth bass fishing remains good, and lake trout have been active in 80 to 100 feet of water.
Anglers are catching numbers of walleyes pulling spinners tipped with leeches or crawlers in 10 to 17 feet of water on points and old shorelines, Devils Lake fishing guide Mark Bry reports. Anglers are sorting through numbers of smaller walleyes to find the keepers, he said. Northern pike, including the occasional larger fish, also are showing up with the walleyes, Bry said, but white bass have been tougher to come by.
Catfishing in the Grand Forks area still is spotty but appears to be picking up daily, Grand Forks catfish guide Brad Durick reports. Fluctuating water temperatures have extended the catfish spawn, Durick said, and fish are being caught out of the heads of holes and along the outer edges of snags. Durick suggests trying a variety of locations until finding where the fish are biting best on that given day. Sit on a spot for an honest 20 minutes and keep the baits fresh. All baits seem to be working, Durick said, adding he’s had the best results with suckers, while others are saying goldeyes and frogs are the baits of choice. A good piece of bait in the right place seems to be more important than what the bait actually is, he said. Monday’s storm has put a lot of water into the Red Lake River system that is moving toward Grand Forks, and anglers should expect a few feet of extra water by this weekend. That may push the catfish to the edges of the channel. Boaters also should expect more debris, so using caution will be crucial.
Upper Red Lake
If the weather — and especially the wind — cooperates, walleyes continue to be caught on crankbaits or spinner rigs in 4 to 7 feet of water along most shorelines. Northern pike action has been limited to a few incidental catches by walleye anglers.
Walleyes are hitting leeches and crawlers on the weed lines out to the 25-foot structure on Lake Bemidji. Work the pencil reeds and weed lines of Big Lake and Lake Beltrami for panfish. Small bucktails are triggering muskies in the shallow vegetation of Bemidji, while bass fishing remains consistent on the deep weed lines of Beltrami and Grant lakes.
Gull Lake and Island Lake are producing walleyes along the 11- to 14-foot weed edges. On Blackduck Lake, leeches are producing walleyes in 10 to 14 feet. Look for consistent panfish action on Gull, Gilstead Lake, Pimushe Lake, North Twin Lake and South Twin Lake.
Cass Lake area
Walleyes are hitting leeches in 18 to 20 feet of water on North Cedar Bar and East Cedar Bar on Cass Lake or LeRoy’s Bar on Pike Bay. The southwest corner of Lake Andrusia is kicking out walleyes in 16 to 20 feet. Look for perch on the 9-foot rocks on Cass, Pike Bay and Kitchi Lake. Bluegill action has improved around the lily pads in Allen’s Bay on Cass, and anglers are raising a few muskies on Cass in deeper water.
Live bait rigs with leeches or nightcrawlers are producing walleyes in 15 to 24 feet of water on the main-lake humps, Long Bar and the “Rock Fence.” Trolling spoons along the 6- to 10-foot weeds has produced pike. Look for perch in 15 to 22 feet on Hunter’s Hump and Snaghole Bar.
Muskie action has improved with bucktails and topwater baits on the rocks. Walleye action has been best with leeches west of Goose Island and in Sucker Bay over 9 to 12 feet of water. Crankbaits also work at night off Sand Point in 10 to 14 feet. Bass fishing has been good along the reed or cabbage edges.
Leeches or crawlers are triggering walleyes in 16 to 18 feet of water on Big Detroit Lake, Lake Sallie, Lake Melissa or Upper and Middle Cormorant lakes. Crappies and sunfish are hanging in the 12- to 15-foot weeds of lakes Severson, Floyd, Sour, Big Detroit and Upper Cormorant. Topwater baits have been best for muskies over the weed tops of Big Detroit, Pelican Lake and Deadshot Bay.
Park Rapids area
Walleye reports have slowed, with a few fish hitting leeches during low-light periods on Fish Hook Lake and Long Lake in 18 to 30 feet of water. Big Mantrap Lake and the Crow Wing Chain are producing pike in 14 to 16 feet on sucker minnows. The Crow Wing Chain and Toad Lake continue to give up bluegills in 12 feet, while Big Mantrap is giving up a few muskies on crankbaits. The 14-foot weed line on Fish Hook is worth hitting at sunset for crappies.