AREA HUNTING AND FISHING REPORT: Devils Lake fishing steady, waterfowl hunting good this week
LAKE OF THE WOODS Anchoring and pitching a jig-and-minnow combination has produced walleyes in 22 to 25 feet of water around Pine Island and the Morris Point Gap. There have been some shiner minnows moving into the Rainy River, but water temperat...
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Anchoring and pitching a jig-and-minnow combination has produced walleyes in 22 to 25 feet of water around Pine Island and the Morris Point Gap. There have been some shiner minnows moving into the Rainy River, but water temperatures remain high for this time of year, and that has kept many fish from moving upriver.
Not much has changed, and the walleyes are still cooperating, reports Devils Lake fishing guide Mark Bry. As long as the weather holds, the fishing should remain solid until freeze-up, he said. Walleyes are relating to current areas, and Bry recommends working the edges of the current or up and down the shorelines from the current. Old shorelines with flooded rocks also gave been good, especially those adjacent to deeper water. Jigs and minnows or crawlers are producing the best action. Bry said deeper water continues to produce better numbers of fish, but bigger walleyes are in shallower water. Anglers also are finding pike and the occasional white bass in shallow. When fishing shallow, work aggressive presentations such as crankbaits and jigs/plastics and cover water, Bry said.
UPPER RED LAKE
Walleyes continue to hit spinners and minnows or crankbaits along most shorelines in 4 to 7 feet of water. Grouse hunters are finding pockets of birds as the cover drops, but duck hunting reports have been limited.
Look for walleyes to hit minnows on Lake Andrusia and Wolf Lake in 18 feet. On Lake Bemidji, walleyes are hitting minnows on the north-end rock piles in 20 feet. Lake Plantagenet is kicking out walleyes near the Girl's Camp in 15 to 17 feet. Grace Lake and Grant Lake are giving up panfish in 15 to 20 feet or along the shallower weed lines. Muskie reports indicate decent action with bucktails or BullDawgs on Bemidji in shallow water. Duck hunting reports have been limited, but grouse hunting is improving as the leaves fall.
Look for walleyes to be hitting minnows on Blackduck Lake in 12 feet of water or less and on Island Lake in 16 to 20 feet or 6 to 10 feet. Crankbaits also have worked on those lakes in shallow water at night. Pimushe Lake and Gilstead Lake are producing crappies over 20 feet, and bluegills are hitting in 10 to 12 feet on most lakes. Grouse hunting continues to be good, although the birds are sitting in pockets. Duck hunters are shooting mostly local birds, with just a few divers starting to be seen.
A jig and minnow is producing walleyes from Ottertail Point to Two Points in 6 to 9 feet of water. The Hardwoods area also is giving up walleyes on minnows in 9 feet or shallower. At night, crankbaits are producing fish in 6 to 9 feet off Pine Point and Sand Point. Perch action has been best in the north end of Sucker Bay, the Narrows and off Sand Point. Duck hunters continue to find birds, but no divers, and grouse hunters are finding pockets of birds.
Reports have been sketchy for walleyes, with some fish coming off the west-side points such as Raven's and Mallard in 6 to 10 feet of water. Little Stony Point, the Highbanks area and the Bird Houses area also have given up some walleyes in 10 feet or less. Look for perch in the same locations or on the mid-depth rocks off Raven's Point. Anglers continue to find northern pike along the weed lines.
Lakes such as Melissa, Big Cormorant, Big Detroit and Pelican are producing walleyes on minnows in 15 to 30 feet of water. Crappies are being found suspended near the deep cabbage at Big Floyd Lake, Severson Lake, Little Detroit Lake and Melissa. The same lakes also are safe bets for sunfish in 10 to 12 feet. Muskies continue to hit large sucker minnows on the weed lines of Big Detroit and Pelican, while duck hunters are struggling.
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Fish Hook Lake is giving up walleyes in 18 to 22 feet on a jig and redtail minnow. Potato Lake is worth hitting with minnows for walleyes in 16 to 20 feet, as is Long Lake in 18 to 24 feet with crawlers. Northern pike are hitting in 8 to 14 feet of water on Big Mantrap Lake and Fish Hook. Lake Itasca is producing crappies and bluegills in 8 to 12 feet, and muskie anglers are encountering fish on Big Mantrap with sucker minnows in 10 feet. Duck hunting is good, but there are not many hunters around, and grouse hunters are offering mixed reports, although there doesn't seem to be as many birds as last year.
Trolling Shad Raps at night in 6 to 10 feet of water on Little Pine Lake has triggered walleyes. During the day, redtails and live-bait rigs are producing walleyes on Big Pine Lake in 12 to 18 feet of water. Panfish action is slow, muskie action has been very good on area lakes with big blade baits, and northern pike can be had with crankbaits on most lakes. There hasn't been much for new ducks moving in, so hunters have been limited to geese and local wood ducks.
Perch continue to hit on the south end of Big Stone Lake, right in Ortonville, Minn., in 4 to 5 feet of water. A few more walleyes are hitting crankbaits or a jig and minnow during the evening hours on the south end of Big Stone. The Minnesota River is giving up walleyes and northern pike on minnows in the Corral and Marsh Lake Dam areas. Duck hunting hasn't been as good, and there doesn't seem to be many new ducks moving in.
AREA WATERFOWL UPDATE
- Devils Lake area: Waterfowl hunting in the Lake Region can be characterized as, "The chase is on," reports Mark Fisher, district wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Devils Lake. Ducks have scattered throughout the region, and waterfowl hunting will be fair to good for the upcoming week, Fisher predicts. Scouting remains important, he said, as birds have found areas with less pressure and are sitting tight. Migrant snow geese and small Canada geese have begun showing up in huntable levels but still in limited numbers. Large Canada geese remain the best bet. Tundra swan and sandhill crane migrations are well underway and hunting opportunities exist. Fisher reminds hunters that a swan tag is required for swans. Ducks have begun moving out of the area, especially blue-winged teal and gadwall, but local mallard and pintail numbers are good, Fisher said. Tens of thousands of birds remain in Canada, Fisher said, and local mallard and pintail numbers won't change much until cold weather pushes the birds south. Diver ducks are migrating into the area, and scaup hunters have reported increased success, Fisher said. The corn harvest is underway, and soybean harvest is 50 to 75 percent complete.
- Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area near Middle River, Minn.: Thief Lake has about 3,000 Canada geese, up from 2,000 during the last count; the Department of Natural Resources didn't survey duck numbers this week. Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, which is near Thief Lake, has 53,000 ducks, down from 72,000 during the last count. Hunter success at Thief Lake has ranged from 1.67 to 2.76 ducks per hunter, with ringnecks, redheads and blue-winged teal comprising the bulk of the bag.
- Roseau River WMA near Pinecreek, Minn.: Pools 2 and 3 at the west end of the WMA and the Roseau River again are open to the public after last week's "Juneberry 3" wildfire. There hasn't' been a large movement of ducks into the area, and geese continue to utilize WMA pools and farm fields. Ringnecks, mallards, green-winged teal and wood ducks are the top species in the bag.