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Outdoor report

Lake of the woods There have been several reports of shiners moving into the Clementson Rapids area of the Rainy River so this would be an area to check for walleyes. On the main lake, a jig and minnow or downrigging has produced walleyes outside...

Lake of the woods

There have been several reports of shiners moving into the Clementson Rapids area of the Rainy River so this would be an area to check for walleyes. On the main lake, a jig and minnow or downrigging has produced walleyes outside the Lighthouse Gap and along Pine Island. Trolling minnows off Zippel Bay in 18 to 21 feet of water also has triggered walleyes. Farther upstream on the Rainy River, anglers report big northern pike are starting to hit.

Devils lake

The fish continue to cooperate on Devils Lake, according to the latest report from fishing guide Mark Bry of Grand Forks. He reports seeing some very chunky walleyes, white bass and northerns right now. The fish are aggressive and will bite just about anything anglers put in front of their mouths. A variety of locations are producing fish, but areas with current or weeds get the edge. Lots of fish are coming from 2 to 9 feet of water using jigs tipped with plastics or live bait. It's especially important to have deeper water close by, Bry said, and minnows and crawlers are the best choices for live bait.

Bemidji area


Walleyes are hitting minnows on Lake Plantagenet in 8 to 14 feet of water or in 30 to 35 feet on Cass Lake. The muskie bite remains strong on most lakes. Bemidji, Cass and Plantagenet all have given up a few fish again this week. Hunting reports have been minimal, with the exception of archery hunters, who continue to shoot quite a few deer.

Blackduck area

The walleyes have started hitting minnows and crankbaits on Blackduck Lake in 10 to 14 feet of water. Gull Lake and Blackduck Lake are giving up sunfish and crappies in 10 to 15 feet. Grouse hunters are reporting better success as the leaves begin to fall.

Leech lake area

Walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow in 7 to 12 feet near Goose Island, the Hardwoods and the Meadows. Sugar Point and Battle Point also are worth noting when the wind is blowing into these areas. Work the weeds in the narrows for perch. The majority of muskies anglers raise or catch are coming from Portage Bay.

Lake winnibigoshish

The best walleye and perch action is taking place in 8 to 12 feet of water. Work the points, shoreline breaks and weedlines with a jig and minnow. Better areas, of late, include the Bird Houses, Little Stony Point, Sugar Point, Mallard Point and the Highbanks. Minnows also have produced northern pike, most of which are mixed with the walleyes.

Detroit lakes


The shallow humps and cabbage of Big Detroit Lake are producing numbers of muskies. Topwater baits have worked best. Walleye action remains strong with minnows in the shallows of Big Detroit, Pelican Lake, Big Cormorant Lake, Floyd Lake and Island Lake. Crappies are suspended over 20 feet on Big Detroit, Lake Melissa and Lake Sallie. Look for bluegills on the deep cabbage on Island and Big Detroit. Bass and northern pike action remains strong on most lakes.

Lake kabetogama

The windblown shorelines are producing walleyes in 15 to 20 feet or 26 to 35 feet on Kabetogama. Sucker minnows are triggering northern pike in the weedy bays that offer current flow such as Lost, Daily and Mud in Kabetogama and in Junction Bay on Namakan Lake. Crappie action remains slow. An occasional bear is registered, and grouse hunters sound disappointed with their limited success.

Area waterfowl update

n Devils Lake area: Tami Dixon, biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Devils Lake Wetland Management District, reports seeing a couple of large flocks of snow geese Tuesday in northern Towner County. Smaller flocks of snows, along with a few sandhill cranes, also have been showing up across the district. Dixon said dabbling ducks seem to be concentrated in areas that have water. Find the water, Dixon said, and chances are the ducks will be there, as well. For diver duck hunters, Lake Alice is holding good numbers of scaup, Dixon said.

n Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area, Minn.: The Department of Natural Resources conducted an aerial survey Wednesday, and the WMA had 2,500 Canada geese, about 400 snow geese and 18,000 ducks. Ringnecks accounted for 40 percent of the ducks, followed by mallards at 20 percent, redheads at 14 percent, pintails at 9 percent, gadwalls at 6 percent and blue-winged teal at 3 percent. Emergent cover on the WMA is in the best shape since before the flood of 2002, and good crop production in the area offers excellent conditions for field-feeding birds. Access should be good at all boat launches. Minnesota's waterfowl season opens at 9 a.m. Saturday.

n Roseau River Wildlife Management Area, Minn.: According to Stan Wood, manager of Roseau River WMA, an aerial survey Wednesday tallied 3,000 Canada geese, 300 snow geese, 1,000 ducks and 4,500 coots. The ducks were mostly mallards and green-winged teal, Wood said; blue-winged teal were noticeably absent. All of the pools on the WMA are nearly full, so boating access should be good in the areas where hunting is allowed.

-- Herald staff and wire reports

Brad Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and has been the Grand Forks Herald's outdoors editor since 1998.

Besides his role as an outdoors writer, Dokken has an extensive background in northwest Minnesota and Canadian border issues and provides occasional coverage on those topics.

Reach him at bdokken@gfherald.com, by phone at (701) 780-1148 or on Twitter at @gfhoutdoor.
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