Weather Forecast


OUTDOOR REPORT: Walleyes continue to cooperate, Winter Festival set for Saturday at Turtle River State Park etc.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Lake of the Woods

Typical for this time of year, fishing has slowed a bit from the hot bite in December, but anglers along the south shore continue to catch good numbers of walleyes and saugers. According to the latest report from Lake of the Woods Tourism, best action is in 28 to 31 feet of water during the midday, with a decent morning and evening bite in 15 to 22 feet of water. Gold, glow red, pink and glow colors are consistent producers, and most anglers actively jig one line and use a "deadstick" presentation with a jig or plain hook and minnow below a bobber on the second line.

Fishing also remains good up at the Northwest Angle, Lake of the Woods Tourism reports, with best action in 17 to 26 feet of water. Anglers are catching walleyes, along with a mixed bag of saugers, perch, pike, tullibees and eelpout, Lake of the Woods Tourism said. In Ontario waters, crappies are hitting small jigs tipped with waxworms or minnow heads in 30 feet of water.

Devils Lake

Walleye fishing has been pretty good during the morning and evening hours in 15 to 20 feet of water on Devils Lake proper or in 7 feet of water or so on upper basin lakes such as Irvine and Alice. Structure areas or inside turns are good starting points. Rattle spoons or glow lures tipped with a minnow or minnow head are consistent producers, and anglers shouldn't be afraid to mix up the colors.

Perch fishing has been hit-and-miss, with best action, overall, in water 40 feet or deeper on sunny days. The key is to find an active school and stay mobile. Small jigs tipped with waxworms are traditional perch producers.

Ice is now 16 to 19 inches thick in most areas, although anglers should always use caution near pressure ridges and snow drifts. Woodland Resort has a trail system from the resort on Creel Bay up to Peterson's Point in north Creel Bay, south to Rocky Point and over to Military Point, the resort said on its website.

Bemidji area

Slush was forming on area lakes after the recent snowfall, so anglers venturing off plowed ice roads need to be careful. According to the latest report from Dick Beardsley of Dick Beardsley's Fishing Guide Service, Lake Bemidji, Andrusia, Plantagenet and Big lakes all have produced walleyes and perch, with best action near deep midlake humps and bars in 20 to 30 feet of water. Look to Grace, Gull, Turtle and Wolf lakes for crappies and bluegills.

Downhill skiing report

• Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji: Machine groomed, with a 28- to 48-inch base; 2 inches of new snow in the past seven days; not making snow. Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day). Info:

• Detroit Mountain Recreation Area near Detroit Lakes, Minn.: Machine groomed, with a 24- to 50-inch base; 1 inch of new snow in the past week; making snow. Info:

Area trails report

• Turtle River State Park near Arvilla, N.D.: A Winter Festival is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the park, 3084 Park Ave., Arvilla, N.D. A variety of indoor and outdoor activities are on tap, and visitors are encouraged to bring winter gear, sleds and a dish to share for a potluck meal; drinks and dinnerware will be provided. Info: (701) 795-3180 or

• Itasca State Park, Minn.: Good skiing conditions, with a 6- to 7-inch base and 13 miles groomed; very good snowmobiling conditions, with a 3- to 4-inch base and 31 miles groomed. Local snow depth 15 inches.

• Lake Bemidji State Park: Good skiing conditions, with a 4-inch base and 9 miles groomed; good snowmobiling conditions, with a 4-inch base and 3 miles groomed. Local snow depth 10 inches.

• LaSalle State Recreation Area near Solway, Minn.: Excellent snowmobiling conditions, and trail is groomed. Local snow depth 15 inches.

• Lake Bronson State Park, Minn.: Fair skiing conditions, with a 3-inch base and partially groomed trail; fair snowmobiling conditions, with a 1-inch base. Local snow depth 7 inches.

• Northeast Snowmobile Trail (Cavalier, Pembina and Walsh counties): The Moonlighter Gorge Trail is open from Langdon, N.D., to the east, Snowmobile North Dakota reported on its website. The North Nekoma Trailblazers Trail is open from Langdon to Nekoma to Milton, N.D., and the Tri-County Trail is open. All three were groomed Jan. 12, but the remaining trails in the system are closed.

• Lake Region Trail (Nelson and Ramsey counties): Trails 1, 2, 5 and 6 are open, and additional trails are being groomed before the weekend. Conditions are good, Snowmobile North Dakota reports; snow depth 3 to 9 inches.

• Red River North Trail (Pembina and Walsh counties): Trail system is closed from lack of snow.

• Red River South Trail (Grand Forks and Walsh counties): Trail system is closed from lack of snow.

-- Herald staff reports

Brad Dokken

Brad Dokken is a reporter and editor of the Herald's Sunday Northland Outdoors pages. Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and joined the Herald staff in 1989. He worked as a copy editor in the features and news departments before becoming outdoors editor in 1998.  A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University. 

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