OUTDOORS REPORT: Area fishing, trails, skiing report
Lake of the Woods The fish seem to be moving back to the south-end mud in 26 to 31 feet of water. Saugers are biting all day, and walleye action is best during the morning and late afternoon. Smaller gold or glow-colored jigs and spoons are produ...
Lake of the Woods
The fish seem to be moving back to the south-end mud in 26 to 31 feet of water. Saugers are biting all day, and walleye action is best during the morning and late afternoon. Smaller gold or glow-colored jigs and spoons are producing the majority of fish. At the Northwest Angle, some anglers report spotty fishing, but others have encountered 50-fish-per-house days around Oak and Little Oak islands in 24 to 28 feet of water. The last hour of daylight also has produced numbers of walleyes in the shallow current areas on the Angle.
The area received another foot of snow early this week, so getting around has been tough, and anglers should plan and prepare accordingly. Devils Lake Tourism on Thursday said trails are plowed at Woodland Resort and Spirit Lake Casino, and the boat landings were scheduled to be plowed to access the lake at East Bay Landing, Lakewood Boat Landing, Six-Mile Bay Landing, Pelican Lake Landing and East Bay behind Pop's and the Stromme Addition. Devils Lake fishing guide Mark Bry reports fishing was steady before the snowstorm, with best perch action in flooded timber in 25 to 40 feet of water with small rattle spoons, jigs and dropper rigs tipped with minnow heads and wax worms producing the best action. Walleyes, along with the occasional pike, are being caught in with the perch, and pike also are hitting smelt or herring fished below tip-ups or jigging spoons tipped with a fathead.
At last report, walleyes were beginning to stage in shallow water near the mouth of the Red River in 6 to 10 feet of water, according to Manitoba fishing guide Jason Hamilton. With minimal structure, locations can change from day to day, but more walleyes also have been showing up deeper in 10 to 17 feet of water. Lipless crankbaits and rattle spoons are good bets, he said. Recently, he said, the strong morning bite has faded about noon, and anglers need to downsize and fish small jigs and live minnows to coax reluctant walleyes into striking. There are lots of ice and snow, making travel with anything but snowmobiles or other tracked vehicles very difficult. Auger extensions of at least 12 inches also are in order, Hamilton said.
Glow or flashy spoons tipped with minnow heads are producing perch on the north end of Lake Bemidji in 22 to 27 feet of water. Crappie action remains strong during low-light periods on Lake Puposky in 18 feet and Wolf Lake in 32 feet. Anglers also are finding crappies through the narrows on the south end of Three Island Lake over 30 feet of water and sunfish just before the narrows in 10 to 12 feet.
Cass Lake area
Crappies are suspended and hitting during the evening hours over 30 to 35 feet of water on Kitchi Lake, Lower Sucker Lake and Welch Lake. Anglers are sight fishing in 6 to 8 feet and catching perch on Cass Lake and adjacent Pike Bay. Tullibee action has picked up over 25 to 35 feet in Allen's Bay and off Cedar Island on Cass with rattle spoons and waxworms.
The perch bite continues to be pretty slow with just a few decent-sized fish coming out of the Pine Point area in 9 to 14 feet of water. Anglers are sorting through numbers of small fish to find keepers. It also remains very difficult to travel off the main roads without a snowmobile because of deep snow and drifts.
Perch action has been best on the west-side flats or off Raven's Point and Sugar Point in 15 to 20 feet of water. River Bar on the south end also has produced perch in 16 feet, and if it's cloudy, active perch will be as shallow as 10 to 12 feet. Jigging spoons and minnow heads continue to produce bigger fish.
Little Detroit Lake is kicking out sunfish and crappies in 11 feet. You'll also find crappies in 12 to 15 feet and sunfish on the 8- to 12-foot weeds of lakes Melissa, Floyd and Sour. Small jigs tipped with waxworms and hung below a flasher are producing tullibees, most of which are suspended over the deep holes of Loon Lake, Star Lake and Long Lake.
Park Rapids area
Bluegills are biting sporadically on Fish Hook Lake and Straight Lake in 12 feet. Look for suspended crappies over 30 feet to hit minnows on Big Mantrap Lake during the evening hours. It's still pretty difficult to get around without a snowmobile on most lakes.
Downhill skiing report
• Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji: 26- to 50-inch base, packed powder, 8 inches of new snow. Skiing hours 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and 4 to 8 p.m. Monday; snow tubing hours 4 to 8 p.m. today and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Info/special events: bvskiarea.com.
• Frostfire Ski Area near Walhalla, N.D.: 20-inch base, 18 inches of new snow, making snow continually when needed and when temperatures allow. Open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Info: frostfireskiarea.com.
Cross-country ski trails
• Turtle River State Park, N.D.: Now that snow has finally fallen, trails are in good condition and were scheduled to be groomed Thursday; snow depth 8 to 14 inches.
• Grand Forks Greenway: Trails are groomed, and conditions are fabulous, with more than seven miles of skiing available. Trail map available at greenwayggf.com.
• Grahams Island State Park near Devils Lake: Trails are groomed and in good condition; 12 inches of new snow; local snow depth 28 to 30 inches.
• Icelandic State Park near Cavalier, N.D.: Trails are in excellent condition, but no grooming or current snow depth updates were available Thursday.
• Hayes Lake State Park, Minn.: Trails were groomed Wednesday and are in good condition, with a 10-inch base; local snow depth 18 inches.
• Itasca State Park, Minn.: Very good condition, with a 7-inch base; 21 miles groomed; local snow depth 20 inches.
• Lake Bemidji State Park: Excellent conditions, with an 11-inch base and 10 miles groomed; local snow depth 20 inches.
• Lake Bronson State Park, Minn.: Ski trails were set to be groomed Thursday, and conditions are very good. Trail base 8 inches, with seven miles groomed; local snow depth 18 inches.
• Old Mill State Park, Minn.: Trails were groomed Tuesday and are in very good condition; 12-inch base; six miles groomed; local snow depth 24 inches.
• Zippel Bay State Park, Minn.: Trails are in great shape, with a 9-inch base; seven miles groomed; local snow depth 23 inches.
• Red River South Trail (Grand Forks and Walsh counties): Trails are in good condition, with a 6- to 8-inch base. All of the trails except the Turtle River Trail were groomed Wednesday. Recent snowfall 12 to 16 inches; local snow depth 20 to 30 inches.
• Red River North Trail (Pembina and Walsh counties): Trails are open, and all have been groomed, including the trail from Crystal to St. Thomas, N.D. Trail base 4 to 6 inches; 8 to 12 inches of new snow; local snow depth 16 to 20 inches.
• Northeast Trail (Cavalier, Pembina and Walsh counties): Trail system is open and will be groomed by the weekend. The Cavalier Trail will remain closed from St. Thomas, N.D., to the warming house southeast of Cavalier. Trail base 4 to 6 inches; 12 to 18 inches of new snow; snow depth 24 to 30 inches.
• Lake Region Trail (Nelson and Ramsey counties): Trails are open, in excellent condition and will be groomed by the weekend. Trail base 6 to 8 inches; 12 to 15 inches of new snow; local snow depth 20 to 30 inches.
• North Central Trail (Benson, McHenry, Pierce, Ramsey and Towner counties): Trails are open and in very good condition, and all will be groomed by the weekend except trail Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Trail base 4 to 6 inches; 10 inches of new snow; local snow depth 18 to 24 inches.
• Peace Garden Trail (Bottineau and Rolette counties): All trails except No. 6 are open and will be groomed by the weekend. Trail base 6 to 8 inches; 6 to 12 inches of new snow; local snow depth 25 to 35 inches.
• Beltrami Island State Forest East: Groomed with a 10-inch base; 7½ inches of new snow; local snow depth 20 inches.
• Hayes Lake State Park, Minn.: Good conditions, with a 7-inch base; 6 miles groomed; local snow depth 18 inches.
• Itasca State Park: Good conditions, with a 7-inch base; 32 miles groomed; local snow depth 20 inches.
• Lake Bemidji State Park: Excellent conditions, with an 8-inch base; 3 miles groomed; local snow depth 24 inches.
• Lake Bronson State Park, Minn.: Trail is groomed and in very good condition, with a 10-inch base; local snow depth 18 inches.
• Old Mill State Park, Minn.: Good conditions, with an 8-inch base; local snow depth 24 inches.
• Zippel Bay State Park, Minn.: Very good conditions, with an 8-inch base; 2 miles groomed; local snow depth 23 inches.
-- Outdoor News and Herald staff reports