Lake of the Woods

Open water fishing will soon give way to ice, but as of early this week, anglers willing to dress up in warm gear continued to enjoy late fall walleye action, Lake of the Woods Tourism reported in its weekly update. The south shore continues to hold good numbers of walleyes and saugers that will remain in the area through ice-up. Anchoring up with a jig and frozen shiner is still the best method. Small chunks of ice are starting to appear on the lake, Lake of the Woods Tourism said, and many bays and harbors are iced up.

Fishing on the Rainy River was good this past week for numbers of walleyes, but trophy-size fish were less abundant than the previous week, Lake of the Woods Tourism said. There’s still strong current, and walleyes are holding in spots with current breaks. Anglers are having their best luck jigging with minnows or, in some cases, soft plastics. Small back bays are icing up.

Devils Lake waterfowl update

Waterfowl are lingering in the Lake Region despite significantly cold weather, reports Mark Fisher, wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Devils Lake. Devils Lake itself has begun freezing from the west side near Minnewaukan, N.D., and most of the lake could be covered in ice by this weekend, Fisher predicts. On the upside, thousands of birds are holding on, Fisher said, including mallards, large and medium-sized Canada geese, snow geese and diving ducks. With the frigid weather and little snow, farmers have begun harvesting corn, which could offer outstanding hunting opportunities for hunters who gain access permission. Temperatures have been dipped into the single digits in recent days, so birds will likely begin moving to the wintering grounds very soon. As a result, this will be the last waterfowl update of the season.