Lake of the Woods
Jigging with frozen shiners or leeches and drifting spinners with crawlers continues to produce walleyes in 29 feet to 32 feet of water in Big Traverse Bay, Lake of the Woods Tourism reports in its weekly update. Big Traverse is starting to load up with walleyes, and anglers have taken some nice fish on crankbaits. Whether fishing mud-bottom or rocky areas, the key is finding the fish.
On the west side of the lake, True North Guide Service reports good walleye action on spinners and crawlers in 15 to 18 feet of water on the south tip of Buffalo Point and in 11 to 17 feet in the Willow Creek Area. The north end of Arnesen’s Reef and Lemm’s Reef are “loaded with fish,” the report said, and jigging right off the reef or pulling spinners in the mud north of the reef is producing both eaters and larger fish.
Up at the Northwest Angle, drifting spinners west of Little Oak Island still is producing a combination of keeper and larger, slot-size walleyes in the 19½- to 28-inch protected range, Lake of the Woods Tourism reports. Jigging and pulling spinners on and around reefs in 16 to 24 feet of water is producing walleyes in Ontario waters, where good fishing continues for smallmouth bass, big pike and muskies.
Walleyes are moving deeper as summer progresses, and the most consistent action now is in 20 feet to 35 feet of water, Woodland Resort reported Thursday in its weekly update. Pulling bottom bouncers and spinners with live bait has been a good technique for targeting walleyes as they move deeper. Slip bobbers and leeches also can be effective for anglers who can find the right locations in deeper water. Trolling crankbaits and lead core line will become a more effective technique as August approaches and water temperatures continue to rise. As far as colors, purple, blue and dark green have worked well on sunny days, according to the Woodland report, with yellow, green and white being top producers on cloudy days.
High water levels put catfishing on hold after the river reached flood stage, but the river now has crested and will fall rapidly barring additional rains farther upstream, Grand Forks catfish guide Brad Durick reports. By the middle part of next week, water levels should be more favorable as long as city crews can keep up with any mud left on the ramps as the river recedes. While miserable in the short-term, summer floods typically mean great fishing once water levels stabilize, Durick says.
As for bait choices, sucker minnows — both frozen and fresh — goldeyes and frogs all should come into play when fishing resumes. Durick recommends focusing on areas out of the current early in the week; once water levels stabilize, catfish will move closer to the middle of the river.
Looking ahead, the Cats Incredible Catfish Tournament is set for July 27-28, and LaFave Park in East Grand Forks is tournament headquarters. There’s still openings for anglers wishing to compete in the tournament. For more information, check out the Cats Incredible website at catsincredibletournament.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 218-399-3474 or check out the Cats Incredible Facebook page at facebook.com/catsincredible.
Fishing on Leech Lake right now boils down to feeding windows and covering water, Jason Freed of Leisure Outdoor Adventures in Walker, Minn., reports. Walleye anglers have had their best action using slip bobbers with leeches, dragging live bait rigs with crawlers or minnows or pulling bottom bouncers with spinners. On the west side of the lake, working breaklines in 15 to 25 feet of water has been working well throughout Walker Bay, Traders Bay, Kabekona and Agency bays, Freed said. On the main lake, trolling spinners on rock transitions has produced some walleyes, Freed said, along with long lining crankbaits or trolling with lead core line off the reefs during the day and on the edges and tops of the reefs in the evenings. As for crankbaits, No. 5 or No. 7 Shad Raps and Flicker Shads are good options.
Muskies have been a little tougher in the past week, Freed said, and anglers are catching panfish in the cabbage weed beds using small jigs tipped with a leech, crawler or soft plastic.