OUTDOOR REPORT: Hot fall fishing on Lake of the Woods, Good waterfowl reports coming from Devils Lake area etc.
Lake of the Woods
Fishing is excellent, Lake of the Woods Tourism reports in its weekly update. Anglers are finding walleyes in good numbers in 18 feet to 30 feet of water along the south shore from Long Point to Four-Mile Bay and into the Rainy River. Walleyes are gorging on shiners, which are running up the river, the report said. Anchor up and jig with a shiner for best results. Good numbers of sturgeon also are being reported from the Rainy River, including some in the 60-inch range.
Up at the Northwest Angle, anglers in Minnesota waters are catching walleyes jigging with a minnow in 10 to 24 feet of water in current areas between the islands and off deep holes, Lake of the Woods Tourism said. Crappie fishing in Ontario waters is "on fire" in deeper holes off protruding points in well-known areas, according to the report.
Water temperatures are dropping, and anglers are starting to catch walleyes in traditional fall spots, including current areas, deep points with rocks and deeper midlake humps, according to Mark Bry of Bry's Guide Service. Vertical jigging, live bait rigging and trolling crankbaits all can produce quality fish this time of year, he said.
The walleye bite continues to slowly pick up and should only get better as water temperatures drop below 60 degrees, Dick Beardsley of Dick Beardsley's Fishing Guide Service said in his weekly update. A few days of stable weather will help fishing even more, he said. Walleyes are hitting jigs and minnows in 12 to 25 feet of water, with some fish continuing to hold along the edges of cabbage weeds and on midlake structure, Beardsley said. Pike are hitting in the same areas. Crappie fishing is good, and while fish continue to hold in green cabbage, crappies soon will move to deepwater basins.
• Devils Lake area: The nonresident waterfowl opener in the Lake Region was good for most who hunted. Federal wildlife officer Matt Carman reported that hunters averaged four to five ducks over the opening weekend, with gadwall and mallards being the most common birds in the bag. A small migration of diving ducks, a few puddlers, a few tundra swans and Arctic-nesting Canada geese have begun appearing throughout the region, according to Mark Fisher, wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Devils Lake. Dry weather over the past week has improved access to most locations, Fisher said. Ag producers are harvesting soybeans now, leaving corn as the only unharvested crop. The outlook remains good into the foreseeable future, Fisher said.
• Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area near Middle River, Minn.: An aerial survey this week showed a noticeable increase in redhead numbers. Observers also noted canvasback, scaup and buffleheads on the flight. Canada goose numbers have declined since last week. Hunters have been averaging 2 to 3.2 ducks per hunter in bag checks during the past week, with redheads and ringnecks the most abundant species.
• Roseau River WMA north of Badger, Minn.: Numbers of Canada geese and snow geese again are building after a noticeable decrease Sunday. Many sandhill cranes have left the area, wood ducks and blue-winged teal are less abundant but wigeon and ringneck numbers are increasing. Mallards are scattered throughout the area, with the best concentration on Roseau Lake. Hunters averaged 3 ducks per hunter Saturday, but only 1 per hunter Sunday. Teal and ringnecks dominated the bag with good numbers of mallards and wigeon, as well.
Fall colors update
• Turtle River State Park near Arvilla, N.D.: About 60 percent color.
• Lake Bronson State Park, Minn.: 75 percent to 100 percent color.
• Old Mill State Park near Argyle, Minn.: 75 percent to 100 percent color.
• Red River State Recreation Area, East Grand Forks: 75 percent to 100 percent color.
• Itasca State Park, Minn.: 75 percent to 100 percent color.
• Lake Bemidji State Park: 50 percent to 75 percent color.
• Zippel Bay State Park near Williams, Minn.: 50 percent to 75 percent color.
• Hayes Lake State Park near Roseau, Minn.: Past peak.
-- Herald staff reports