AREA FISHING, LIGHT GOOSE REPORT
Lake of the Woods Reports from the Rainy River continue to improve, and big fish have made a push into the river. Numbers of walleyes longer than 26 inches have been caught, along with a lot of sturgeon, on a jig-and-minnow combination from the F...
Lake of the Woods
Reports from the Rainy River continue to improve, and big fish have made a push into the river. Numbers of walleyes longer than 26 inches have been caught, along with a lot of sturgeon, on a jig-and-minnow combination from the Frontier Landing about 20 miles east of Baudette, Minn., to the Gap on Lake of the Woods. Farther upstream, anglers are catching walleyes at the mouth of the Little Fork River on a jig and minnow.
The shorelines are starting to open up, but there's still a fair bit of ice on the lake, fishing guide Jason Mitchell said Thursday. Ice fishing hasn't been an option for more than a week, Mitchell said, and most of the fishing right now is taking place in channels and ditches, where the running water is attracting northern pike and a few walleyes. Ditches near Starkweather, Garske, Cando and Churchs Ferry, N.D., all are holding pike, Mitchell said. A few walleyes are showing up along Channel A, but pike continue to provide the bulk of the action. Look for that to change as water temperatures rise. It all will depend on the wind, but Mitchell said he wouldn't be surprised to see Devils Lake lose its ice in a week to 10 days.
Area lakes are free of ice, and anglers have taken to the open water, Stuart Bensen, conservation officer for the Department of Natural Resources in Erskine, Minn., reported earlier this week. Floodwaters continue to recede and many smaller rivers now are near normal levels.
Leech Lake area
There was some floating ice left on Walker Bay and a few chunks floating around the main portion of the lake early in the week. By this weekend, the bays and harbors could start to produce panfish if it gets warm enough to drive them shallow.
The main lake still had some ice early this week, but it was expected to be gone by this weekend.
The ice is now completely off the lake. The wind piled up some ice chunks along the shorelines, but the entire lake is now open, so look for the perch to be shallow over the next few weeks. The points along the west shore and river mouth are worth hitting in less than 8 feet with a jig and minnow.
The lakes are open, and anglers just started fishing open water. The crappies being found are staging near traditional spring locations, but not in the shallows. Look in 10 to 14 feet of water.
Park Rapids area
Anglers are trying most of the usual spring panfish spots, but the bite has been slow. Small jigs and minnows are producing a few crappies in the shallow bays of Long Lake.
N.D. light goose update
There haven't been any reports of major light goose concentrations, and observations indicate most of the snow geese now are in Canada, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department reported Tuesday in its final spring light goose update. Geese will continue to trickle through the state during the next several days, but the bulk of the spring migration appears to be complete.