Published February 26, 2010, 12:00 AM

OUTDOORS REPORT: Area fishing, skiing, snowmobiling conditions

Colored-glow jigging spoons continue to work best for walleyes and saugers on Lake of the Woods, with better numbers of fish being found suspended. Fishing on the reefs has slowed a bit, with some action reported late in the afternoon. On the south shore, 33 feet of water seems to be best for walleyes and saugers this week.

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

LAKE OF THE WOODS

Colored-glow jigging spoons continue to work best for walleyes and saugers, with better numbers of fish being found suspended. Fishing on the reefs has slowed a bit, with some action reported late in the afternoon. On the south shore, 33 feet of water seems to be best for walleyes and saugers this week.

DEVILS LAKE

Heavy snowpack continues to complicate vehicle access off the main trails, according to the latest report from Ed’s Bait Shop. Best walleye reports are coming from 12 to 25 feet of water near or on rocky humps and points. Spots worth trying include Pelican Lake, Minnewaukan Flats, Doc Hagens, Fort Totten, Rocky and Military Points, East Bay, Black Tiger Bay and East Devils Lake, the report said. Perch fishing remains tough, but a few fish are coming from deeper water near Rocky and Military points, the Spirit Lake Casino area, near the Woods-Rutten Road and East Devils Lake, the report said. Pike are hitting smelt or herring fished below tip-ups.

UPPER RED LAKE

Walleye action is decent, but the fish are a bit pickier. The first shoreline break in 6 to 10 feet of water has been best, with the Popples and north shore rocks also producing walleyes. There have been a few more crappies caught about three miles out of Hillman’s in 14 feet of water. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows fished below tip-ups throughout the lake.

BEMIDJI AREA

Anglers are catching the occasional walleye in 15 to 20 feet of water on Lake Bemidji, Lake Plantagenet, Big Lake, Lake Irving or Lake Julia. Look for perch on the north end of Bemidji and Irving in 20 feet or deeper during the afternoon hours. Crappies and bluegills have started to bite a bit better on Turtle River Lake, Sandy Lake and Portage Lake in 10 to 15 feet of water.

BLACKDUCK AREA

A few more walleyes have shown up in recent days on Island Lake, Gull Lake and Blackduck Lake in 8 to 14 feet of water during the evening. Blackduck also is kicking out good-sized perch in 10 to 14 feet or in 20 to 22 feet. Bluegill and crappie reports are limited.

CASS LAKE AREA

Pike Bay is kicking out a mixture of small and jumbo perch on the 6- to 8-foot sand areas. Walleye action is slow, but crappies are active during the evening hours on Grace Lake and Kitchi Lake. The best bluegill action is taking place on the 16- to 18-foot weed lines of most lakes.

LEECH LAKE AREA

The best perch bite in recent days has taken place on the GrandVu Flats in 8 to 15 feet with jigging spoons and minnow heads. Walleye action has been hit-and-miss, but the evening hours have provided some decent catches on the humps in Walker Bay. Finding good-sized bluegills and crappies remains difficult on all lakes.

LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH

Perch action has been strong in 20 to 26 feet of water on the Snaghole Bar, Center Bar and the humps from Center Bar to Raven’s. Anglers might want to slide slightly deeper during midday hours. Walleyes also are being caught on these spots, mainly during low-light periods.

DETROIT LAKES

Sunfish and crappies are hitting on Little Detroit Lake in 10 to 12 feet of water and on Big Detroit Lake in 18 to 20 feet. Look to Floyd Lake for panfish in 18 feet and on Lake Melissa in 18 to 21 feet. Anglers continue to catch a few walleyes early and late in the day in 18 to 22 feet of water on Lake Sallie, Melissa, Pelican Lake and Big Cormorant Lake. Pike are hitting sucker minnows fished below tip-ups throughout the day in 6 to 15 feet of water on most lakes.


Walleye action has picked up with shiner minnows on Island Lake and Potato Lake in 27 to 29 feet of water. Fish Hook Lake is producing northern pike in 16 feet, with sucker minnows being the most productive bait. On the Crow Wing Chain, look for crappies in 28 feet and bluegills in 9 to 12 feet of water.

DOWNHILL SKIING REPORT

- Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji: 32- to 48-inch base, groomed, 2 inches of new snow in the past week; 25 kilometers cross-country ski trails. Skiing hours 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday; snowtubing 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Nastar racing Saturday and Sunday, Church-wide Snow Day on Saturday and Ski for Babies fundraiser Sunday. Info: (218) 243-2231, (800) 777-7958 or on the Web at www.bvskiarea.com.

- Frostfire Ski and Snowboard Area near Walhalla, N.D.: 24- to 35-inch base, 2 inches new snow, all runs open. Hours 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today through Sunday. Info: (701) 549-3600 or on the Web at www.frostfireskiarea.com.

SNOWMOBILE REPORT

- Beltrami Island State Forest East: Excellent conditions; 5-inch trail base; 52½ miles groomed; local snow depth 21 inches.

- Big Bog State Recreation Area, Minn.: Excellent conditions; 7-inch base; local snow depth 17 inches. Trails were groomed Tuesday.

- Hayes Lake State Park, Minn.: Excellent conditions; 16-inch base; local snow depth 23 inches; six miles groomed.

- Lake Bemidji State Park: Very good conditions; 6-inch base; local snow depth 15 inches; three miles groomed.

- Zippel Bay State Park, Minn.: Excellent conditions; 6-inch base; local snow depth 17 inches; two miles groomed.

- Grand Forks area (Red River South): Trails are in excellent condition and will be groomed by this weekend; 13-inch base; local snow depth 27 inches. Trail hot line: (701) 328-5377.

- Grafton, N.D., area (Red River North): Trail conditions are good to excellent, and the groomer was on the eastern side of the trail system Thursday; 12-inch base; local snow depth 25 inches. Trail hot line: (701) 328-5377.

- Northeast (Pembina Gorge Trail): Trails are in good to excellent condition and are being groomed, although equipment problems have delayed grooming on the east side of the system; 14-inch base; local snow depth 28 inches. Trail hot line: (701) 328-5377.

- Devils Lake area (Lake Region): Trails are in good to excellent condition and will be groomed by this weekend; 16-inch base; local snow depth 28 inches. Trail hot line: (701) 328-5377.

- Lake Bronson State Park, Minn: Good snowmobiling conditions; 5-inch base; local snow depth 15 inches; trail three miles, not groomed.

n Old Mill State Park, Minn.: Excellent snowmobiling conditions; 6-inch base; local snow depth 16 inches; one mile of trail, not groomed.

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING REPORT

- Hayes Lake State Park, Minn.: Excellent conditions; 16-inch trail base; local snow depth 23 inches; six miles groomed.

- Lake Bemidji State Park: Very good conditions; 6-inch trail base; local snow depth 15 inches; nine miles groomed.

- Lake Bronson State Park, Minn.: Excellent skiing conditions; 6-inch base; local snow depth 15 inches; seven miles groomed.

- Old Mill State Park, Minn.: Fair skiing conditions; 7-inch base; local snow depth 16 inches; six miles groomed; last grooming Feb. 9.

- Zippel Bay State Park, Minn.: Excellent skiing conditions; 6-inch base; local snow depth 17 inches; seven miles groomed. Candlight ski event set for Saturday.

- Graham Island State Park, N.D.: Trails are in excellent condition and are scheduled to be tracked today. Snow base 20 inches.

- Turtle River State Park, N.D.: No update since Feb. 18, when trails were in good condition; 10-inch base. Hikers and snowshoers should use areas other than groomed ski trails.

- Icelandic State Park, N.D.: No recent updates. Info: (701) 265-4561 or isp@nd.gov.

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