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Outdoor report: Northern pike action improves on Lake of the Woods and Devils Lake

N.D. Game and Fish Department photo

Lake of the Woods

As of early this week, great reports continued to come in for walleyes and saugers, Lake of the Woods Tourism reported Monday in its weekly update. Many resorts along the south shore have moved their rental houses closer and are within 5 to 6 miles of shore.

Even before the latest blizzard, there was lots of snow on lake, so it's best to stay on resort roads or trails. Anglers venturing out on their own definitely need extensions.

Pike action has heated up, with many fish over 40 inches caught in the past week, Lake of the Woods Tourism reported. Pike season on Lake of the Woods is continuous, and the fishing should only get better as more spring-like temperatures settle in. Fish houses on Lake of the Woods and other Minnesota-Canada border waters can remain on the ice through March 31, but many resorts with ice roads aren't allowing wheelhouses to remain on the ice overnight. Season for walleyes and saugers is open through April 14. On Four-Mile Bay and Rainy River, walleye fishing is catch-and-release only through April 14.

Farther north, Lake of the Woods Tourism reports excellent fishing at the Northwest Angle, with walleyes coming from 22 feet to 30 feet of water, with the occasional sauger and jumbo perch in the bag, as well. There's lots of slush in many places, so snowmobilers are advised to stay on the trails.

Devils Lake

Reports are hard to come by with all of the snow and slush that's on the ice in many areas, but anglers who are able to stay mobile have landed some nice perch. According to the latest report from Mark Bry of Bry's Guide Service, deep basins in 30-plus feet of water have produced the best perch action, while morning and evening hours are the best times for walleyes in 6 to 20 feet of water. Pike are becoming more active, as well, Bry said, a trend that should become even more prevalent with the onset of more spring-like temperatures.

As a reminder, fish houses in North Dakota can't be left on the ice overnight after midnight Friday, March 15.

Downhill skiing report

• Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji: Machine groomed, with a 32- to 60-inch base; 12 inches of new snow in the past week as of March 11; not making snow. Info/hours: www.bvskiarea.com.

• Detroit Mountain Recreation Area near Detroit Lakes, Minn.: Packed powder, with a 32- to 72-inch base; 16 inches of new snow in the past week as of March 10; not making snow. Info/hours: www.detroitmountain.com.

Area trails report

• Grand Forks Greenway: The ski trail will be groomed for the final time of the season this weekend so trails should be in good shape once the blizzard passes.

• Turtle River State Park near Arvilla, N.D.: Trails were groomed and in great condition as of the last update Monday, March 11. Call the park at (701) 795-3180 for post-blizzard trail updates.

• Hayes Lake State Park near Roseau, Minn.: Ski trails were in poor condition as of last update March 10 and were in need of grooming after several inches of fresh snow. Snowmobile trails were groomed and in fair condition, with a 6-inch base. Local snow depth as of March 10 was 32 inches.

• Itasca State Park, Minn.: Good skiing conditions, with a 15- to 20-inch base and 13 miles groomed. Very good snowmobiling conditions, with an 8- to 10-inch base and 31 miles groomed. Local snow depth as of March 12 was 27 inches.

• Lake Bemidji State Park: Excellent skiing conditions as of March 12, with a 6-inch base and 9 miles partially groomed. Excellent snowmobiling conditions, with a 6-inch base and 3 miles groomed. Local snow depth 27 inches.

• Northeast N.D. snowmobile trails: Check snowmobilend.org for the latest updates in the wake of recent warm temperatures and the latest blizzard.

-- Herald staff reports