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Area fishing report: Lake of the Woods and Devils Lake continue to produce good walleye action, Low sign-up threatens Cats Incredible tournament

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Anglers fishing the Northwest Angle area of Lake of the Woods are catching a mixed bag of species both in Minnesota and Ontario waters, including fish such as this big northern pike caught by a fisherman staying at Flag Island Resort. (Photo courtesy of Lake of the Woods Tourism)

Lake of the Woods

Fishing is good, but some anglers in recent days have switched techniques from anchoring and jigging to pulling spinners to put walleyes in the boat.

According to this week's report from Lake of the Woods Tourism, anglers are catching fish using both techniques in 14 feet to 32 feet of water. Walleyes are being found both on rocky structure and over mud-bottom areas in Big Traverse Bay from Pine Island north to Knight and Bridges islands, north and west to 16-Mile Reef and most spots in between, Lake of the Woods Tourism said. As always, gold, pink, glow and orange are good colors.

Up at the Northwest Angle, anglers are reporting good fishing both in Minnesota and Ontario waters. Look for walleyes on flats, rocky points and over mud in 6 to 30 feet of water. Jigging and drifting or trolling spinners both are good techniques for putting walleyes in the boat. Anglers also are catching the occasional pike, perch and smallmouth bass in the mix. Muskie season now is open in Ontario waters.

Devils Lake

Shallow water continues to be the ticket for catching walleyes, and a variety of techniques are working, Mark Bry of Bry’s Guide Service reported in his latest update. Casting and trolling crankbaits has worked well, he said, along with live bait below slip bobbers and trolling spinners. The techniques have produced both numbers and good-sized fish, Bry said. Walleye and pike action has been steady, and anglers have reported catching numbers of white bass at times, as well.

The 43rd annual Devils Lake Chamber Fishing Tournament gets underway Friday with tournament headquarters at Grahams Island State Park, 152 S. Duncan Road. Fishing hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with daily weigh-ins near the Grahams Island boat access.


Red River

Catfish have started spawning, and fishing -- in a word -- is tough, Grand Forks catfish guide Brad Durick reports. Cooler weather after the intense heat of a couple of weeks ago has everything “sort of in a lull,” he said. Finding catfish is not a problem, but getting them to bite is a challenge. The best spots have been drop-offs out of the current but near cut banks where catfish might be nesting and protecting their eggs, Durick said. Suckers and goldeyes both have been good cutbait choices, he says, and anglers should give a spot at least half an hour before moving.

The spawn happens every year about this time, so the key for now is to be patient, Durick says. A couple of weeks, and fishing should be back to normal.

Cats Incredible update: In other news from the Red River, the Cats Incredible Catfish Tournament is in jeopardy because of low signup, organizers say. As of Monday, only 25 two-person teams had registered for the July 27-28 tournament -- far short of the 125-team capacity -- and organizers say they may be forced to cancel the tournament without a significant increase in sign-ups by early July.

Entry fee for Cats Incredible is $230 per two-person team. For more information, check out the tournament website at www.catsincredibletournament.com , email iafflocal3423@yahoo.com or call (218) 399-3474.

Bemidji area

Here’s the latest on lakes in the Bemidji area from Paul Nelson of Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service:

  • Upper Red Lake: Walleye fishing remains good on the calmer days and should stay good until warmer water temperatures disperse the fish farther out on the lake.

  • Lake Bemidji: Walleye action has been good, with some fish holding in shoreline cabbage weeds and other fish moving to the edges of midlake structure.

  • Cass Lake and Leech Lake: Fishing has been best on the days with some wind and cloud cover, with more walleyes moving out of the shallow bays and into the main lake.

  • Lake Winnibigoshish: Very good for larger walleyes, but suitable keepers under 17 inches have been tough to catch. The protected slot limit on Winnie is 17 to 23 inches, meaning anglers have to throw back fish in that size range, so many anglers have been keeping their one walleye longer than 23 inches to eat.

-- Herald staff reports

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