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Outdoor Report: Devils Lake waterfowl continue to provide good opportunities for hunters who do their homework

Lake of the Woods Excellent fall fishing continues on the lake, and anglers have been catching walleyes, saugers and perch in 15 to 20 feet of water, Lake of the Woods Tourism reported. Action has been hot, the report said, with anglers going thr...

Lake of the Woods

Excellent fall fishing continues on the lake, and anglers have been catching walleyes, saugers and perch in 15 to 20 feet of water, Lake of the Woods Tourism reported. Action has been hot, the report said, with anglers going through a lot of bait and catching good numbers of walleyes and saugers, sometimes sorting through smaller fish for keepers. Spots along the entire south shore are producing. The abundance of bait and walleyes on the south shore suggests a good ice fishing year is on the horizon, Lake of the Woods Tourism said.

On the Rainy River, anglers are encountering good numbers of walleyes in 10 feet to 25 feet of water, according to Lake of the Woods Tourism. Shiner minnows are still running, and tipping a jig with a live or frozen shiner is a good bet for putting fish in the boat. The bite is light, at times, so adding a stinger hook also is a good idea. Anglers on the Rainy have reported catching larger walleyes in the protected slot. Sturgeon fishing also remains excellent for anglers targeting the fish.

Up at the Northwest Angle, walleyes are hitting a jig and minnow in 10 to 30 feet of water, while crappies in Ontario waters are being found in 30-foot holes near sunken trees or near deep points near islands, Lake of the Woods Tourism reported. Walleye action also is excellent in Ontario waters.

Balmy temperatures are forecast to continue for at least a few more days, so anglers who haven't put their boats away definitely have an opportunity for some good, late fall fishing.

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Devils Lake

Fishing reports are hard to come by, but waterfowl continue to provide good opportunities for hunters who do their homework.

Mark Fisher, district wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Devils Lake, said duck numbers and hunting pressure both dropped last week throughout the Lake Region. If hunters scout, they will find "jackpot" locations that may have as many 1,000 to 10,000 ducks and mostly mallards, he said. Canada geese, tundra swans and diver ducks on big water also are still abundant at solid huntable levels, Fisher said.

Birds are widely scattered across the landscape, and scouting is critical, Fisher said. The corn harvest is well underway, with many harvested fields used by ducks; hunter access may be another issue, Fisher said, as most of these fields are posted.

Hunting was mixed last week, Fisher said. Many hunters reported poor luck, while others hit the jackpot and had perhaps their best hunts of the season. Keep blaze orange handy as the deer season is in full swing.

-- Herald staff reports

Brad Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and has been the Grand Forks Herald's outdoors editor since 1998.

Besides his role as an outdoors writer, Dokken has an extensive background in northwest Minnesota and Canadian border issues and provides occasional coverage on those topics.

Reach him at bdokken@gfherald.com, by phone at (701) 780-1148 or on Twitter at @gfhoutdoor.
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