AREA HUNTING AND FISHING REPORT: Lake of the Woods, Devils Lake, Red River ... more
Lake of the Woods With water temperatures dropping, walleye numbers have started to build near Pine Island and the mouth of the Rainy River. Walleyes and saugers continue to be caught in good numbers on the main lake by downrigging in deep water....
Lake of the Woods
With water temperatures dropping, walleye numbers have started to build near Pine Island and the mouth of the Rainy River. Walleyes and saugers continue to be caught in good numbers on the main lake by downrigging in deep water. The 30-foot reefs around the islands continue to produce walleyes at the Northwest Angle. A jig and minnow has been most productive, especially in the Garden Island area.
Trolling crankbaits has been the ticket for walleyes the past several days, according to Devils Lake fishing guide Steve "Zippy" Dahl of Mitchell's Guide Service. Specifically, Dahl said, he has been trolling No. 4 or 5 Salmo Hornets with Fireline in 5 to 12 feet of water and No. 5 Hornets with lead core line in 14 to 24 feet. Walleyes have been ranging from 16 to 22 inches, Dahl said, with plenty of smaller ones in the mix, along with the occasional northern pike. Cold fronts and windy conditions have complicated fishing, Dahl said, and it typically takes a few days for the action to straight out after the weather improves.
The catfish have started to move upriver to feed in areas with fast-moving water, according to Grand Forks catfish guide Brad Durick. That is a sure sign the fall bite is on. Look for the fish around snags, deep holes, rocks or anything else that will block the current. Cut suckers again have become the bait of choice with frogs running a close second. River levels are on the rise after recent rains, and with more precipitation in the forecast, look for the fishing to suffer yet another setback during the next couple of weeks. That's been the story of the summer along the U.S. portion of the river.
Muskie action has slowed, but crappies are consistently hitting minnows at Webster Lake in 10 to 20 feet. Minnows are producing walleyes in 12 to 28 feet on Lake Plantagenet and Lake Bemidji. The weedlines of most area lakes are producing sunfish and northern pike. Bear registrations have been decent, and the best goose reports are coming south of the immediate area.
Anglers are finding sunfish and a few crappies in 10 to 15 feet on lakes Pimushe, North Twin, South Twin and Gull. Walleye action remains slow, but bass and pike can be had on the weedlines of North and South Twin. Bear hunting has been productive, according to most reports, especially last weekend.
Cass Lake area
The best walleye reports are coming from Cass Lake during the evening hours in 8 to 12 feet of water with crankbaits or a jig and minnow. The jumbo perch bite has been very good in 6 to 8 feet on East Cedar Bar, West Cedar Bar and around Star Island on Cass or along the east and west shorelines of Pike Bay. Muskies are chasing bucktails on the rocks and cabbage of Cass, and you'll find sunfish in the weed pockets of Allen's Bay and Dick's Bay on Cass.
It seems as though the jig-and-minnow bite is improving, but crawlers are still producing walleyes. The best reports are coming from 10 to 16 feet off the points and wind-driven shorelines. The deep humps in Walker Bay are worth hitting for big walleyes. Anglers continue to catch and sort through perch at the Narrows, and bass fishing is most consistent in Boy Bay.
A jig and minnow continues to produce walleyes on the shoreline breaks and wind-driven weed edges. Minnows also have started to work best on the main-lake bars in 15 to 25 feet. Look for perch on the west side points and breaks in 10 to 16 feet. Pike are piled up in the weeds on the north and west sides of the lake.
Crankbaits and minnows are producing walleyes in 20 to 25 feet on lakes Melissa, Pelican and Big Detroit. Work the weedlines of Big Detroit, Floyd Lake and Severson Lake for sunfish. Muskies continue to chase CowGirls on the humps of Pelican and Big Detroit. Goose hunting has been poor, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of birds in the area.
Park Rapids area
Wind, rain and cool weather seem to have shut down most productive fishing opportunities from a week ago. Live bait is still the best option for a few walleyes, bass and northern pike on the deep weedlines of Big Mantrap Lake. Bear hunters report active baits and some good success, and goose hunting has been decent, as well.
Waxworms or minnows are producing perch on the south end of Big Stone Lake from Schmidt's Landing to Sodak in 10 to 14 feet of water. A few walleyes and catfish can be had at the U.S. Highway 75 dam of the Minnesota River. Work the 8- to 10-foot rock piles of Lake Traverse for sunfish.