Lake of the Woods
Walleye fishing has been fantastic, Ballard's Resort near Baudette, Minn., reports. Pulling or drifting spinners and crawlers in the deep mud of Big Traverse Bay in 26 feet to 33 feet of water near Long Point has been a productive pattern, and there have been days with more than 20 walleyes per boat in the 19½- to 28-inch protected slot, along with a few trophy fish in the mix, as well.
Up at the Northwest Angle, water temperatures are in the mid- to high 70s, and walleyes are hitting on the reefs in 24 to 28 feet of water, Lake of the Woods Tourism reports. Jigging with minnows, pulling spinners and bottom bouncer with live bait and trolling crankbaits all have produced fish. Covering water is essential when the fish aren't schooled together. Mud-bottom areas in water deeper than 25 feet are the best bet for anglers fishing the Ontario side of the lake, the report said.
Catfishing, in a word, is slow, Grand Forks catfish guide Brad Durick reports. River levels are dropping, and the catfish-big fish in particular-are sluggish, Durick said. There are cats to be caught, though, he said; the key is staying on the move and fishing areas with current. Smaller, shallow holes with good current have been the most productive, he said.
Goldeyes, frogs and sucker minnows all are working, with fish preference varying from one day to the next.
Pulling spinners and bottom bouncers with Gulp! or live bait is a good bet for eater-size walleyes in 25 feet to 35 feet of water, Tanner Cherney of Devils Lake Tourism reports. Typical for this time of year, the walleyes are heading deeper, and 12- to 18-inch fish are outnumbering larger fish. Old shorelines and deep rock piles are good starting points, Cherney said.
Trolling crankbaits and lead-core line over deep rocks was a winning combo for pro angler Dylan Nussbaum, who won the Cabela's National Walleye Tour event held July 27-28 on Devils Lake. Nussbaum, 20, of St. Marys, Pa., weighed in a two-day total of 55.43 pounds of walleyes to win the tournament. He trolled Rapala Husky Jerks and Berkley Flicker Minnows in 35 to 45 feet of water in East Devils Lake to win the tournament. "The key was getting away from all the boats and finding your own water out deep," Nussbaum said in a news release.
Leech Lake walleye fishing is improving, though it still revolves around feeding windows and reaction bites, Jason Freed of Leisure Outdoor Adventures reports. Water temperatures are dropping back to around 70 degrees, and walleyes are holding along breaklines in 18 to 25 feet of water. Pulling live bait rigs with crawlers, leeches or redtail chubs has been a good technique, Freed says. Midlake humps or reefs also hold some fish, Freed says, but the bite is less predictable.
On the main lake, trolling crankbaits at speeds of 2.2 to 2.8 mph in 12 to 16 feet of water also is working, Freed says.
For anglers in search of larger quarry, muskies have been chasing bucktails, glide baits and topwater lures. Guides have reported seeing multiple fish each outing, and rocks, deeper weed beds and windblown points all are worth exploring.
Walleye fishing, overall, has been pretty good in 16 to 28 feet of water, Leisure Outdoor Adventures reports. Pulling spinners, live bait rigs, jigging Raps and live bait below slip bobbers all have worked at different times. Main lake bars, underwater points and weed edges are holding the bulk of the walleyes, the report said.
-- Herald staff reports