Lake of the Woods

The wait for safe ice continues, and most resorts are checking conditions daily to determine when the winter fishing season will begin along the south shore, Lake of the Woods Tourism reported Monday in its weekly update. The area missed last weekend’s snowfall, but warmer temperatures early in the week slowed the ice-making process. A few resorts have begun or soon will be renting houses, but most are in a holding pattern. Conditions likely will change daily, so anglers should check with resorts for the latest updates on when the ice fishing season will kick into full swing. Spearing is taking place for pike on back bays, Lake of the Woods Tourism said.

Sportsman’s Lodge on Tuesday reported finding anywhere from 5 inches to 9 inches of ice on Four-Mile Bay and 1 to 6 inches on the main lake in the areas where the resort fishes and travels. There are still pockets of open water in an area stretching from Pine Island to Long Point.

Up at the Northwest Angle, ice is forming nicely, but current is higher than normal, and resorts haven’t started ice fishing yet, Lake of the Woods Tourism said. For the latest updates, check with local resorts or the Lake of the Woods Tourism website at lakeofthewoodsmn.com.

Devils Lake

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Anglers are beginning to venture out on parts of the lake, but conditions remain highly variable, according to Bry’s Guide Service. Some areas have about 9 inches of good ice, while others have only an inch or 2. In a video clip, staff from the guide service said pockets of open water persist around the towers in Main Bay, along with the north and south ends of Six-Mile Bay. The east side of the lake appears to be entirely ice-covered, the report indicated, but thickness is uncertain. Anglers are fishing the smaller lakes farther north in the basin, but there haven’t been many reports of fish being caught.

Ski and trails update

  • Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji: The skiing season is underway with a 12- to 24-inch base as of the most recent report Wednesday, Nov. 27. Skiing hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. More info: bvskiarea.com, (218) 243-2231 or by email at general@bvskiarea.com.

-- Herald staff report