Published December 18, 2009, 12:09 AM

AREA FISHING REPORT: The latest from area lakes, rivers

Ice conditions are great on Lake of the Woods, with 12 inches reported near Morris Point, 8 inches in Four-Mile Bay and 6 inches on the Rainy River near Clementson, Minn. Walleyes are hitting shiner minnows in 15 to 24 feet of water with good numbers of 15- to 18-inch fish reported. Several big northern pike also have been taken. Near Pine Island, consistent catches of walleyes as long as 18 inches have been caught in 16 to 22 feet of water.

By: Outdoor News/Herald staff reports, Grand Forks Herald

Lake of the Woods

Ice conditions are great, with 12 inches reported near Morris Point, 8 inches in Four-Mile Bay and 6 inches on the Rainy River near Clementson, Minn. Walleyes are hitting shiner minnows in 15 to 24 feet of water with good numbers of 15- to 18-inch fish reported. Several big northern pike also have been taken. Near Pine Island, consistent catches of walleyes as long as 18 inches have been caught in 16 to 22 feet of water.

In the Zippel Bay area, Deanna Painovich of Zippel Bay Resort north of Williams, Minn., said there’s 13 to 14 inches of ice on the lake, 12 to 14 inches in Zippel Bay and slightly less than 12 inches in the channel. She said the resort will probably open its winter access road to cars and trucks sometime during the early to middle part of next week. She said ATVs and snowmobiles will be allowed this weekend, and the resort continues to transport anglers to the rental houses. Fishing remains good in 15 to 20 feet of water, Painovich said.

Farther west, fishing is good along the sandbar near Springsteel north of Warroad, Minn., according to the latest report from Riverside Bait and Tackle in Warroad. The lake had 7 to 9 inches of ice in that area, and access remains limited to ATVs and snowmobiles.

Devils Lake

The main lake now has 6 to 8 inches of ice, and people have started fishing, according to Bill Sackenreuter of Ed’s Bait Shop. He said anglers are catching a few walleyes and northerns in the north end of Six-Mile Bay and a few perch and walleyes in front of the Country Club in Creel Bay, basically from Woodland Resort to Rocky Point and Beer Can Island. The southwest corner of Mission Bay also is a good bet for walleyes right now, he said. To date, both perch and walleyes have been coming from 16 to 18 feet of water.

The best spearing reports are coming from Jerusalem Bay in East Devils Lake and Walford’s, where water clarity is pretty good. Sackenreuter said he’s heard reports that Morrison Lake, another popular spot for spearing, is pretty cloudy.

Crookston area

Fishing was spotty this past weekend on Maple Lake near Mentor, Minn., reports Sue Kaiser of Ceason’s Bait and Tackle in Crookston. Anglers reported marking lots of fish, she said, but getting them to bite was another story, and the blustery weather didn’t help. Maple had 6½ to 7 inches of ice last weekend. Meanwhile, anglers continue to catch a few walleyes on the Red Lake River in Crookston, but reports from Union Lake and Lake Sarah near Erskine, Minn., remain scarce.

Red River

Fishing for “greenback” walleyes on the Canadian side of the Red near Selkirk, Man., is now in full swing. Reports from anglers in the area indicate fishing’s pretty good for size, if not always for numbers. Several walleyes measuring from 25 inches on up to a whopping 32 inches have been reported, with best action coming from 20 to 25 feet of water. Anglers have reported 8 to 10 inches of ice, depending on the area, but caution is always the keyword when fishing on rivers.

Upper Red Lake

Twelve inches of ice has taken hold on the lake. The 9-foot breaks adjacent to rock or gravel are producing walleyes on the south and east shorelines. Glow jigs have been the best producers because of somewhat dirty water. Pike and crappie action has been limited other than a few accidental catches of both.

Bemidji area

Most lakes had 6 to 8 inches of ice early in the week. Lake Irving is producing walleyes in 10 to 12 feet of water. The west side of Lake Bemidji is kicking out walleyes in 15 to 20 feet. Panfish reports are slow, but spearing for northern pike has been good in the shallows of most lakes.

Blackduck area

Anglers are reporting 6 to 8 inches of ice on most lakes. Walleyes have started hitting on Blackduck Lake in 12 to 18 feet of water. On Lake Rabideau, panfish are biting in 10 to 12 feet early and late in the day. Spearing for pike has been good throughout the area.

Leech Lake area

On Leech Lake, anglers are finding walleyes in 10 to 13 feet of water early and late in the day off Sand Point, Pine Point and the GrandVu Flats. Shingobee Bay is producing small bluegills in 6 to 12 feet. Garfield Lake is giving up walleyes in 15 to 20 feet and panfish in 10 to 12 feet. Steamboat Lake is a safe bet for northern pike in less than 8 feet. Seven to 9 inches of ice is common in this area with the exception of Walker Bay on Leech, which just capped a week ago.

Lake Winnibigoshish

Walleyes are being caught on the main-lake humps, bars and breaks in 20 to 23 feet of water. Spearing for northern pike continues to be good along the west shore, and there’s a midday perch bite in 7 to 9 feet at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Seven to 9 inches of ice was reported early this week, but a couple of pressure ridges are forming that anglers should watch.

Detroit Lakes area

The ice is in good shape with 8 inches or more on most lakes. A few walleyes are biting on Big Detroit Lake, Big Cormorant Lake, Deadshot Bay and Lake Sallie in 18 to 22 feet. Look for crappies in 12 feet on Little Detroit Lake and Lake Melissa. Pike are active on most lakes in less than 12 feet, and anglers are catching a few sunfish on Floyd Lake, Deadshot Bay and Melissa in 10 to 14 feet of water.

Park Rapids area

Walleyes are hitting on Fish Hook Lake, Potato Lake, and Island Lake in 21 feet during low-light periods. Northern pike are hitting minnows on Big Mantrap Lake and Fifth Crow Wing Lake in 12 feet. Look to Fish Hook and Straight Lake for bluegills in the 10- to 14-foot weeds. You’ll find 10 inches of ice on most lakes.

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