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OUTDOORS BRIEFS

Lake of the woods This area is gearing up for opening weekend. The Rainy River and Four-Mile Bay area are completely free of ice. There also is open water a mile past Pine Island and throughout much of the Northwest Angle. Devils lake Wind, cold ...

Lake of the woods

This area is gearing up for opening weekend. The Rainy River and Four-Mile Bay area are completely free of ice. There also is open water a mile past Pine Island and throughout much of the Northwest Angle.

Devils lake

Wind, cold fronts and lack of current to attract walleyes have made for a slower start to open water fishing, according to the most recent report from Ed's Bait Shop. It'll eventually warm up, though, and when it does, look for the fishing to improve. Pike have provided the best action, of late, although anglers fishing Channel A and the Mauvais Coulee have reported catching some walleyes.

Grand forks area

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Turtle River State Park near Arvilla, N.D., received another batch of about 1,300 rainbow trout Tuesday, park manager Steve Crandall reports. He said another stocking of about 1,000 trout is tentatively set to happen sometime before Memorial Day weekend.

Meanwhile, anglers fishing the Red and Red Lake rivers are catching a few catfish, with sucker minnows or cut goldeyes serving up the best action.

Crookston area

Crappie fishing's been good at Maple Lake near Mentor, Minn., where anglers are having their best luck in shallow bays. Jigs and crappie minnows fished below a bobber are a good bet for fooling springtime crappies.

With the late spring and many larger lakes still partially covered with ice, shallow lakes such as Maple also could attract more anglers for Saturday's walleye opener. And if the walleyes aren't cooperating, crappies should offer a good Plan B.

Upper red lake

The ice is completely out, and a few crappies have been caught close to shore. Accidental walleye catches have been the mainstay for panfish anglers. There's also a lot of suckers in the creeks, which has kept many people busy this week. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that it has delayed the fishing opener on Tamarac River and Shotley Brook to protect concentrations of spawning walleyes. Anglers still can access Upper Red from the Tamarac River boat accesses, despite fishing still being closed on the river.

Bemidji area

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There was some ice floating on the big lakes early this week, but it was going fast. Most small lakes now have opened, but panfish reports have been limited. Look for this to improve by the weekend.

Blackduck area

The small lakes are open and the ice is going out quickly on the bigger bodies of water. Lakes such as Rabideau and Gilstead should be the first spots to check for crappies in very shallow water with minnows.

Cass lake area

On Tuesday morning, Allen's Bay was about half open. The big lake still had a lot of ice on it, but it had started to shift with the wind. With a few more days of warm weather, wind or rain, much of the main lake is expected to be open by this weekend.

Leech lake area

There still was a lot of ice on the lake early this week. The bays had started to open and the main-lake ice was starting to bust loose. Anglers still should have plenty of open water to work this weekend.

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