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OUTDOOR REPORT: Spring walleye season ends Friday on Lake of the Woods and Rainy River

Lake of the Woods Friday is the last day of spring walleye fishing on Lake of the Woods, Rainy River and other Minnesota-Ontario border waters until the May 13 walleye opener. As of early this week, Lake of the Woods was open up to 1 mile outside...

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This 16-inch walleye was caught during an evening of fishing on Upper Red Lake in January 2015. Anglers this winter can keep three walleyes, of which only one may be longer than 17 inches, on Upper Red. (Sam Cook / scook@duluthnews.com)

Lake of the Woods

Friday is the last day of spring walleye fishing on Lake of the Woods, Rainy River and other Minnesota-Ontario border waters until the May 13 walleye opener.

As of early this week, Lake of the Woods was open up to 1 mile outside of Lighthouse and Morris Point gaps, Lake of the Woods Tourism reports. Anglers have been catching walleyes of all sizes in a variety of depths by setting up near the edge of the ice pack on the lake, Lake of the Woods Tourism said. Anglers need to be aware of moving ice.

Water clarity on the Rainy River is improving after the Little Fork and Big Fork rivers broke loose, muddying up the water and slowing the walleye fishing. Walleye action has improved with the water clarity, so anglers on the water for the last day of the spring season should encounter some fish. The top presentation is a bright-colored jig heavy enough to stay on the bottom tipped with one or two frozen shiners.

With the spring walleye season winding down, anglers will turn their attention to sturgeon. Reports have been good, Lake of the Woods Tourism says, with many 50- to 70-inch fish showing up in recent days. Just be sure to stay on the Minnesota side of the Rainy River as season for sturgeon is closed on the Ontario side of the river, along with other parts of the province.

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Northern pike are another option, and season on the Minnesota side of Lake of the Woods is continuous. Look for best action in shallow bays.

Devils Lake area

Devils Lake soon will be ice-free, but the fishing activity the past couple of weeks has mainly focused on upstream coulees that flow into the lake, and shoreline anglers have been lined up elbow-to-elbow in some places. Anglers have reported catching pike and good numbers of walleyes, with jigs and plastic tails working well. Bigger prespawn walleyes also are being caught, reports indicate. Anglers venturing out for the first open water fishing of the season are reminded that new North Dakota fishing licenses were required beginning April 1.

-- Herald staff report

Related Topics: FISHINGLAKE OF THE WOODS
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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