Lake of the Woods
Walleye fishing remains “excellent,” and anglers are catching a mix of eaters under 19½ inches, fish in the 19½- to 28-inch protected slot and the occasional trophy over 28 inches, Lake of the Woods Tourism said in its weekly update. Jigging with frozen shiners or leeches and drifting spinners with crawlers both have been productive techniques in 29 feet to 32 feet of water. Crankbaits also are producing a few walleyes, Lake of the Woods Tourism said.
Up at the Northwest Angle, the mayfly hatch is winding down. Drifting spinners west of Little Oak Island is producing a combination of eater- and slot-size fish. Jigging and pulling spinners on and around reefs in 13 feet to 20 feet of water and around islands is producing walleyes in Ontario waters. Smallmouth bass are hitting crankbaits and spinnerbaits in rocky areas, and big muskies have been reported caught and released in the past week in Ontario waters, Lake of the Woods Tourism said.
Fishing during the Fourth of July weekend was a mixed bag, with some anglers reporting good walleye success pitching crankbaits in shallow water and others struggling to catch fish pulling spinners and live bait in deeper midsummer locations.
According to Mark Bry of Bry’s Guide Service, his guides have had their best success in depths ranging from 6 feet to 15 feet of water using slip bobbers, pulling spinners and trolling crankbaits. Smaller walleyes have been active, Bry said, but anglers who put in their time also will find fish in the 15- to 18-inch range. Crawlers and leeches both have been good, Bry said, with fish biting in a variety of locations around the lake. The key is covering water and finding pockets of active fish, he said.
Catfishing on the Red River is picking up, but that doesn’t mean much since this week’s heavy rains will push the river past the 28-foot minor flood stage by the weekend, Grand Forks catfish guide Brad Durick reports. Docks have been removed, and there is a chance that area ramps could close by the weekend, he said. Barring additional rains, this should be a very short-lived high water event, Durick said, and the river should be back to more normal water levels in about 10 days.
Catfish are biting along the break lines and near the banks. Suckers, both fresh and frozen, are working, Durick said. Some anglers who have been able to find frogs also have reported good success.
As the river moves past flood stage, shore fishing feeder creeks and tributaries may produce some nice fish, as cats tend to move up those creeks during times of fast rising water. Be careful and be safe.
Typical for this time of year, fishing has taken a turn for the slower in the past week, Jason Freed of Leisure Outdoor Adventures reports. There’s an abundance of bait in the lake, ranging from mayflies and crayfish to young of the year perch.
Anglers should look for walleyes on long breaklines in 12 to 20 feet of water, especially if the wind is blowing into the spot, Freed said. Walker Bay, Agency Bay and long breaklines on the main lake all are good places to start, and some of the main lake rock reefs and bars still are producing walleyes in 15 to 18 feet of water. Try working the areas with spinners, crankbaits or live bait rigs, Freed said; slip bobbers on windy days are another great tactic.
Muskie fishing should start to pick up as fish get more active on the main lake rocks and bars, and bluegills and crappies are showing up in emergent weed beds in 8 to 12 feet of water, Freed said.