Fishing Report: Good walleye reports continue to come from Lake of the Woods and Devils Lake
Lake of the Woods August is shaping up to be an "epic" month, based on fishing reports the past few days, Lake of the Woods Tourism said in its weekly update. Walleyes and saugers are hitting spinners tipped with leeches, crawlers or minnows in 1...
Lake of the Woods
August is shaping up to be an "epic" month, based on fishing reports the past few days, Lake of the Woods Tourism said in its weekly update. Walleyes and saugers are hitting spinners tipped with leeches, crawlers or minnows in 17 feet to 30 feet of water. Offshore reefs are producing fish, as well. Deepwater trolling is another productive option this time of year, Lake of the Woods Tourism said, and anglers are catching walleyes trolling crankbaits with lead-core line or downriggers in 30 feet to 34 feet of water. Lots of walleyes in the 24- to 30-inch range are being boated, the report said.
Fishing remains excellent up at the Northwest Angle, where chrome and chartreuse spinners and blue or silver crankbaits are producing fish in 28 to 32 feet of water near Lunatic Island, Four Blocks or west of Little Oak Island. In Ontario waters, jigging with either fathead or shiner minnows near mud-rock transition areas has been the most productive technique, Lake of the Woods Tourism said. Muskie fishing has picked up this week for anglers casting bucktails in weed and rock transition areas. Typical for this time of year, there's a noticeable algae bloom, but it hasn't affected muskie fishing, Lake of the Woods Tourism said.
Some of the best walleye fishing of the year has taken place of late, Mark Bry of Bry's Guide Service said. Walleyes as small as 6 inches all the way up to 30 have been landed, and the majority of keepers have been in the 15- to 19-inch class, Bry said. Best action has been in 10 feet to 30 feet of water. Pulling bottom bouncers and spinners has been the best way to cover water and find walleyes, which tend to move around a bit, Bry said. "Slow death" hooks tipped with a third of a crawler, vertical jigging and slip bobbers also are producing fish for anglers who hit the right spots. Also worth trying, Bry said, is trolling crankbaits with lead-core line in deeper water.
As a bonus, some dandy perch have been mixed in with the walleyes, Bry said, especially in the 20- to 30-foot depth range. Pike fishing has been spotty, but anglers have caught some bigger pike while fishing walleyes in deeper water.
The Red is very low below the dams right now, and anglers should be extremely careful when running a boat, Grand Forks catfish guide Brad Durick said. There still is plenty of water above the dams, where boating is easier and safer, he said.
Catfishing is "pretty steady," Durick said, and anglers are catching fish in areas such as snags and midriver holes. The best spots have some visible current running into the structure or holes, Durick said. The active fish are very aggressive, so if you land on the right spot, you will know in fairly quick order, he said. Keep on the move to find the most active fish.
Early and late in the day, frogs have been the most productive bait, with frozen suckers or goldeyes working better during the daytime hours, basically from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Durick said.
Upper Red Lake
Fishing has picked up along the east shore of Upper Red, where anglers are having their best luck trolling spinners and minnows in 4 to 7 feet of water, West Wind Resort in Waskish, Minn., reported this week. Gold, chartreuse and orange have been good spinner colors, the report said, and trolling in a zigzag pattern in depths varying from 4 feet to 8 feet has been a productive technique.
Surface water temperatures have increased to near 80 degrees, especially on smaller lakes, Dick Beardsley of Dick Beardsley's Fishing Guide Service reported this week. Walleye action has slowed a bit, Beardsley says, with the best bite early and later in the day. Anglers have had their best walleye success fishing jigs and soft plastics near deeper cabbage weeds, Beardsley says. Pike action also has been good, he said, with larger pike hitting jigs tipped with minnows or soft plastics near the deepest weedline areas. Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing remains excellent, and Beardsley suggests fishing topwater baits early in the morning and Texas-rigged plastics along deep weedlines later in the day. Crappies and bluegills are hitting light jigs and plastics off the deepwater cabbage during the day; early and late in the day, those fish will be right up in the cabbage, Beardsley said.
Next week, college bass fishing takes center stage on Lake Bemidji, site for the 2017 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship. The tournament, which features 90 of the best collegiate student-angler teams from 59 universities across the country-including two teams from Bemidji State University-begins Thursday, Aug. 10, and wraps up Saturday, Aug. 12.
More info: Bassmaster.com/college.
-- Herald staff report