AREA FISHING REPORT: Walleyes on Lake of the Woods are feeding up on emerald shiners; Red River catfish action is fair
Lake of the Woods
Walleyes are putting on the feed bags as water temperatures drop, Lake of the Woods Tourism reported in its weekly update. Schools of emerald shiners are moving closer to shore and Lighthouse Gap to spawn, and anglers have reported cleaning walleyes with stomachs full of the minnows. Crankbaits still are producing, the report said, but anglers pulling spinners with crawlers or shiners and jigging with shiners also are doing well. Big Traverse Bay continues to hold a good portion of the walleyes, but mid-basin reefs also hold hungry fish, and shoreline action is improving every day.
Up at the Northwest Angle, anglers fishing in Minnesota waters are catching fish pulling spinners and bottom bouncers, jigging or trolling with crankbaits. Current areas between the islands have been productive. Look for walleyes in deeper water early and midday, sliding up to 10 feet or less in the evening. Crappie fishing is improving in Ontario waters, where jigging with the lightest setup possible has been the most productive technique. Trolling crankbaits remains the best bet for larger walleyes, although jigging also has very productive along 17- to 22-foot shelves, Lake of the Woods Tourism reports.
Catfishing remains fair, Grand Forks catfish guide Brad Durick reports. The lack of current has the catfish spread out, meaning anglers should keep moving the baits and keep it fresh to locate active fish. Catfish have been holding on the off-current side of the river with the recent small fronts that have gone through, Durick said. Anglers shouldn't stay in a spot more than 15 or 20 minutes without a bite. Frogs, frozen suckers and fresh suckers have been the top baits. With the onset of fall-like temperatures over the next few days, water temperatures will drop, in turn slowing down the catfish action. For best results, Durick suggests staying on the off-current side of the river and working the shallows more than normal. Anglers also should give spots more time as the water cools, Durick said—as much as 30 minutes.
Look for walleyes to continue moving to more fall-like patterns with the return of cooler temperatures. According to Mark Bry of Bry's Guide Service, walleyes have come both from deeper and cooler water as this transition continues. Look for deep structure such as humps, rocks, flooded roads and points to hold walleyes this time of year. Bridges and other current areas also tend to hold more walleyes in the fall. With grouse, dove and archery deer seasons now in full swing and waterfowl season opening Saturday, Sept. 23, the options for getting outdoors and enjoying the fall are increasing.
Walleye action has been fairly consistent despite "yo-yo" water temperatures, Dick Beardsley of Dick Beardsley's Fishing Guide Service reports in this week's update. Walleyes are hitting jigs and minnows in 8 to 12 feet of water along weedlines and wind-blown points on windy days, Beardsley said. Deep breaklines and midlake humps and bars in 17 feet to 27 feet of water are more productive other times. At night, try trolling crankbaits over shallow flats for walleyes.
Pike remain active off weed edges and midlake structure, and bass fishing continues to be excellent, Beardsley said. Bass are holding in the thick of the weeds on windy days and along the outside edges of deep weedlines on calmer days, he said. Crappies and bluegills are hitting small jjgs tipped with plastics, minnows or waxworms in 6 to 12 feet of water in areas with green cabbage.
Upper Red Lake
Good one day, not so good the next has been the early September walleye pattern on Upper Red Lake, West Wind Resort in Waskish, Minn., said in its latest update. Anglers pulling spinners and live bait are catching walleyes in 6 feet of water, and crankbaits trolled in 10 feet to 12 feet of water also are producing fish. Water levels are low, but the resort has dredged its channel so accessing the lake shouldn't be a problem, the report said.
-- Herald staff reports