OUTDOORS REPORT: Area fishing report
Lake of the Woods
Drifting with hammered-gold spinners continues to produce walleyes in 22 to 28 feet of water near Long Point, the Fields, Zippel Bay and Graceton Beach. Look for walleyes in 10 to 18 feet or 22 to 24 feet at Morris Point, Pine Island and Lighthouse Gap. There’s a shallower walleye bite in 8 to 10 feet in the area from Garden Island north to Little Oak Island. Sturgeon are hitting in the deep pockets of the Rainy River.
Farther west near Warroad, Minn., jigs or hammered-gold spinners tipped with leeches, frozen shiners, chubs or crawlers are producing walleyes and saugers in 14 to 22 feet of water. Spots worth hitting this week include the Blinker area, Springsteel sand bar, Whiskey Flats and the south tip of Buffalo Point.
In the Northwest Angle area, Scott Edman of Edman’s Angling Adventures said the rock reef walleye bite in Canadian waters has changed somewhat during the past week. The fish have been scattered on the rock piles in the Little Traverse area, so moving often from reef to reef has been the best game plan for those larger fish. Fishing farther north on deep reefs or working point areas has been a better plan for numbers and action, Edman said. Along with the walleyes, Edman says some nice crappies and perch have been showing up in the daily catch.
Muskie fishing has improved lately in Ontario waters, Edman says, but the overall action remains inconsistent. The water temperature remained in the 70s for the whole week, so expect action to improve if that trend continues.
In Minnesota waters of the Angle, Oak Point and Little Oak Island have been producing walleyes, Edman says; covering water with spinner rigs to contact active fish on structure has been working well.
“Torrid” is how Devils Lake fishing guide Johnnie Candle describes walleye fishing right now. Walleyes are hitting in anywhere from 4 feet of water to 30 feet of water, he said, and all points in between. When the wind blows, casting to shallow rocky shores or weeds is a productive technique, Candle says. Trolling spinners and Gulp! or crankbaits along flooded road beds and deeper weed edges is working. Bobber fishing humps, bumps and rock piles in 10 to 25 feet of water also is working, Candle says; in short, walleyes seem to be hitting pretty much everywhere. There is no single “best spot,” Candle says, but areas worth hitting include Golden Pond, the Golden Highway, Hog Bay, Patience Point, Fort Totten Bay, Military Point, Strommes Addition and Mission Road. Anglers continue to catch pike with the walleyes, and while white bass action is spotty, “who cares when the walleye are biting so well?” Candle says.
Stable water levels and weather conditions are just what the catfish wanted as fishing on the Red River in Grand Forks is quite good, catfish guide Brad Durick reports. Numbers of big fish are coming in right now, he said, and the best locations have been the fast water just off the break to the main channel and heads of holes. It seems the deeper break lines are producing the best results, Durick says, but anglers shouldn’t overlook the shallows with faster water either. Smaller fish are hitting on the shallower side of the same areas, Durick says. As always, keep on the move and don’t stay in a spot for more than 15 or 20 minutes without a bite. All baits are working, Durick says, but goldeyes and suckers seem to be the best producers. If present conditions hold, Durick says he expects some big weights for the Cats Incredible catfish tournament that gets underway Saturday.
Upper Red Lake
Live-bait rigs tipped with crawlers and leeches or crankbaits are producing limits of walleyes along most shorelines in 5 to 8 feet of water. Anglers continue to catch the occasional big pike while walleye fishing as well.
Redtails, creek chubs and leeches are a good bet for walleyes on the 6-foot weed lines early and late each day or on the mid-lake structure during midday hours on Lake Bemidji. Look for suspended crappies over 28 feet on Walker Brook Lake during the evening hours, and bass action remains strong along the weed lines of Balm Lake. Muskie reports have been best off Lake Plantagenet with bucktails around the islands during the evening hours.
Walleyes are hitting live bait rigs and crawlers during the day or slip bobbers and leeches in the evenings in 10 to 14 feet of water on Blackduck Lake. Gull Lake is providing steady bluegill action and a few walleyes in 12 to 14 feet. Look to Pimushe Lake, Rabideau Lake and Gilstead Lake in 12 to 16 feet for bluegills throughout the day. Leeches are producing smallmouth bass and a few walleyes in 14 to 16 feet on Island Lake.
Cass Lake area
Crawlers on “slow-death” rigs are producing walleyes on Buck’s Bar, Deadman’s Bar and East Cedar Bar in 18 to 20 feet of water on Cass Lake. Cass also is giving up perch in the bulrushes and shallow rocks, muskies on the bars and cabbage and crappies around Potato Island. Redtails or other large minnows are triggering walleyes in 30 feet on Lake Andrusia.
Walleye action has been best at night with crankbaits in 9 to 12 feet of water off Sand Point, Pine Point and Cedar Point. The day bite has been more difficult, with a few fish hitting leeches or crawlers on the main-lake rocks and humps in 14 to 18 feet. Lead-core line and crankbaits also have produced walleyes during midday hours in the Trench over 18 to 22 feet. Muskies are starting to show up on the rocks, but the weeds in Portage Bay and Miller’s Bay have been more productive.
Six-foot live-bait rigs tipped with leeches or crawlers are producing walleyes on the humps and main-lake bars such as Big Muskie, Horseshoe and Little Muskie in 18 to 22 feet of water. Walleyes also are hitting crawlers in the shallower weeds. Look for perch on Hunter’s Hump in 14 to 24 feet or the Snaghole and River Bar in 20 to 22 feet. Northern pike are hitting on most 6- to 9-foot weed beds.
The mornings and evenings have been best for walleyes in 18 to 22 feet of water with small sucker minnows or leeches on lakes Sallie, Melissa, Pelican, Big Detroit and Big Cormorant. The weed pockets or outside weed edges on Severson Lake, Floyd Lake, Sour Lake and Deadshot Bay are holding crappies and sunfish. Muskie anglers are enticing fish with large blade baits or surface baits on the weed lines of Big Detroit and Pelican.
Park Rapids area
A few walleyes are being taken with crawlers during low-light periods in 18 to 25 feet of water on Fish Hook Lake. Northern pike action has picked up with crankbaits or sucker minnows on Big Mantrap Lake and the Crow Wing Chain in 14 to 16 feet. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are hitting on most lakes, although bigger fish are being pulled from deeper water — 15 feet or more. Look for bluegills in 12 to 14 feet on Straight Lake, the Crow Wing Chain and Fish Hook.