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Area fishing report: 'On fire' describes current fast walleye action on Lake of the Woods

Joe Cooper.jpg
Northwest Angle fishing guide Joe Cooper with a 50-inch muskie from Lake of the Woods. (Photo courtesy of Lake of the Woods Tourism)

Lake of the Woods

Walleye fishing is “on fire,” Lake of the Woods Tourism said Monday in its weekly update. The mud basin of Big Traverse Bay and midlake structure areas both are producing great catches, the report said. Anglers are having their best luck anchored and jigging with frozen shiners or leeches or by pulling spinners with crawlers in 25 feet to 32 feet of water. If jigging slows, the report recommends moving around with spinners to cover water until finding fish.

Walleye fishing also remains excellent in the Northwest Angle area, where fish have been on the move to deeper water, Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge reports. Best action is in 24 feet to 28 feet of water on the edge of rock reefs. Jigs and minnows or spinners and crawlers are producing the best action for both walleyes and saugers. The water temperature as of midweek was in the 64- to 66-degree range. Look for pike and bass by casting crankbaits in shallow, rocky bays in 7 to 15 feet of water. Muskies have been hitting on large plugs and bucktails in shallow bays on the Ontario side of the lake.

Devils Lake

Reports from anglers indicate fishing on the east side of the lake is slow, with better reports coming from farther west and from lakes farther north in the basin. Water remains fairly clear on the east side of the lake, and fishing should improve as rising water temperature trigger algae growth and reduce the water clarity, in turn making the fish less wary.

Overall, look for walleyes in 10 to 15 feet of water. Trolling spinners and leeches is a good way to cover water and locate fish, and the technique will come into play even more as water temperatures rise. Live bait fished below slip bobbers also can be effective. Cast or troll crankbaits in shallow water for white bass.

In other news from Devils Lake, the team of Spencer Deutz and Carley Deutz, of Fargo, weighed in 10 walleyes for 50.33 pounds to win the 43rd annual Devils Lake Chamber Walleye Tournament, held June 21 and June 22 on Devils Lake.


Grahams Island State Park was tournament headquarters.

Rounding out the top five teams were:

  • Second: Aaron Johnson and Michele Johnson, nine fish, 46.63 pounds.

  • Third: Cory Anderson and Ken Remmen, 10 fish, 45.27 pounds.

  • Fourth: Bob Gibson and Brad Larson, nine fish, 43.03 pounds.

  • Fifth: Lonnie Jacobs and John Hirschkorn, 10 fish, 41.63 pounds.

Red River

Catfish are spawning, but fishing is “not all that bad,” Grand Forks catfish guide Brad Durick reports. Catfish are on their nests and holding tight to the bank in many cases, Durick said, and anglers should give a spot 20 to 30 minutes before moving. Good numbers of fish still are being caught with some big ones mixed in, he said. Sucker minnows and goldeyes both are good cutbait choices.

Depending on where they fish, anglers fishing the Grand Forks stretch of the Red River this weekend could encounter more traffic than usual. The Scheels Boundary Battle Catfish Tournament is Saturday and Sunday. The 50 teams competing in the tournament will be fishing the north stretch of river downstream from Riverside Dam on Saturday and the south stretch of river upstream from the dam on Sunday. Fishing hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days, with Saturday’s weigh-in set for the Whopper John Little boat landing in Grand Forks and Sunday’s weigh-in at the LaFave Park boat access in East Grand Forks.

Bemidji area

Fishing in the Bemidji area has been good, and most fish now have moved out to their summer spots, which makes it easier for anglers to target them, Dick Beardsley, of Dick Beardsley’s Fishing Guide Service, said Tuesday on his Facebook page. Jigs and minnows are still a good bet for walleyes, he said, though some anglers also have done well trolling live bait rigs tipped with leeches or crawlers. Pike are hitting “anything and everything” along deeper weed edges, he said, and bass action has been good both in shallow weeds and off deeper weed edges. Swim baits, spinnerbaits, tubes, jigs and plastics are all working well, Beardsley said. Look for crappies and bluegills in and around deeper cabbage weeds.

-- Herald staff reports

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