AREA FISHING REPORT
By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Walleyes are hitting spinner rigs tipped with crawlers or leeches near Lighthouse Gap, in Big Traverse Bay and on the south side of Garden Island. The reefs around Knight Island have produced walleyes while trolling crankbaits in 25 to 30 feet, and downrigging has been good on the deep mud flats.
In the Northwest Angle area, Scott Edman of Angling Adventures Guiding Service said the reefs and points in the Skeet Island area in Ontario waters have been producing numbers of walleyes, while the Little Traverse reefs have been giving up fewer fish, but with much better average size. Many walleyes in the 20-inch range and larger are being caught, Edman said, along with 28- to 30-inch trophies. Jigs tipped with minnows, crawlers or plastics have been the best presentation.
Muskie anglers continue to report good success. Evenings and weather changes have produced some of the best catches. Top-water lures and large bucktails have been productive presentations. Pike anglers looking for large fish would do well fishing windswept rock points with muskie gear. Lately, the bass fishing has been excellent, with both good numbers and size being caught. Crankbaits and soft plastics in crayfish colors have been the most productive lures, Edman said.
In Minnesota waters, walleye anglers have been doing well on the reefs and points south of Oak Island, the east side of Little Oak and the reefs near Hay Island. Spinner rigs and jigs have been working well for the anglers fishing with live bait, Edman said.
Fishing remains fantastic, reports Devils Lake fishing guide Mark Bry. Anglers are catching numbers of walleyes, Bry said, some pushing 3 to 4 pounds, pike up to 15 pounds and even some bonus jumbo perch. Presentations have varied from live bait and crawlers to trolling Salmo crankbaits, Bry said. Some days, crankbaits are better, while live bait is the ticket other days, Bry said. Best fishing is in 8 to 25 feet of water. Walleyes are hungry, Bry said, and this might be the best fishing of the summer.
Catfish are in most traditional summer spots — especially troughs or snags near deeper water — but deep holes don’t seem to hold many fish, according to Grand Forks catfish guide Brad Durick. It is apparent that that spending more time at a given spot is in order as most bites come after 15 to 20 minutes. In the evening and at night, Durick said catfish are moving out onto the flats or current seams above the troughs and feeding hard. All baits are working, he said; sucker is producing the best action, but bigger fish are coming on goldeye, and if a frog is in the right place, the cats will take that, too. The best approach right now, Durick says, is to try different spots and baits until you find what is working on a particular day. When boating below the dams at Grand Forks and Drayton, N.D., pay extra attention as the water levels are getting on the low side. Both are very navigable but for safety, exercise caution.
UPPER RED LAKE
Walleyes continue to hit in 4 to 7 feet of water for anglers trolling crankbaits or spinners along the pencil reeds and small cabbage beds. Some walleyes are being found near the rock humps in deeper water, as well. A few nice perch are being taken by walleye anglers, and although fishing pressure is minimal for them, northern pike action is strong in 3 to 6 feet.
Walleyes are being taken on crawlers during the day or crankbaits at night in 8 to 12 feet of water on Lake Bemidji and Lake Plantagenet. Topwater baits thrown on the weed edges of Bemidji and Plantagenet are raising muskies. Hit the weedlines of Grace Lake and Lake Beltrami for bluegills. Northern pike are hitting sucker minnows on the 12-foot weedlines of Bemidji.
Walleye action has slowed, with just a few fish coming off Blackduck Lake in 11 to 14 feet of water on crankbaits. The 8- to 12-foot cabbage on Gull Lake and Rabideau Lake is holding bluegills and a few crappies. Largemouth bass continue to hit on the shoreline weeds of North Twin and South Twin lakes.
CASS LAKE AREA
Walleye action remains strong on Cass Lake and Pike Bay with spinner rigs and crawlers trolled along the weedlines. Trolling crankbaits during the evening hours on the Cass Lake bars such as North, East Cedar, Deadman’s, West Cedar and Tom’s also has been productive for walleyes. Large minnows are producing northern pike in 20 to 25 feet of water on Cass, while bluegill action has been best on Kitchi Lake and in Allen’s Bay on Cass along the 12- to 15-foot cabbage.
Nightcrawlers continue to produce walleyes on the edges of the humps in Walker Bay over 28 to 35 feet of water. Bright-colored crankbaits are producing walleyes during low-light periods on the flat edges between Sand Point and Cedar Point. You’ll also find active walleyes on the weed edges in Portage Bay, while other anglers are having success with crawlers on the reefs such as Mokey and Annex. Muskies have become more active on the rocks around Pelican Island, Pipe Island, and Submarine Island and in the cabbage of most bays. Popular muskie lures such as CowGirls, Boobie Traps, and Whopper Ploppers are all raising fish.
Perch are being found on the 12- to 14-foot scattered rock areas off Raven’s Point and the Long Bar Fence area. Walleye activity remains tough, with a few fish coming off the bars and humps in 18 to 22 feet with leeches and crawlers. A few walleyes have been plucked from the weeds on the west side and near Tamarack Point. Shad Raps are producing some walleyes on the 10- to 14-foot breaks as well.
Bluegill action remains consistent on the deep weedlines of Big Detroit Lake, Floyd Lake, Tamarack Lake and Height of Land Lake. Crappies also are being found suspended off these deep weedlines. Crawlers are producing walleyes during the day in 18 to 20 feet of water, and there is some shallower action with crankbaits during low-light periods on Big Detroit, Lake Melissa, Lake Sallie and Big Cormorant Lake. Muskie reports have been limited, but fishing pressure for them has been light.
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Sucker minnows continue to produce northern pike in 12 to 14 feet of water on Fish Hook Lake and Big Mantrap Lake. A few walleyes are being caught on slip bobbers and leeches or crankbaits during low-light periods in 14 to 16 feet of water on Long Lake. Look for bluegills in 12 to 14 feet on Lake Belle Taine and the Crow Wing chain of lakes, and rainbow trout are being found suspended over 30 feet or deeper on Bad Medicine Lake. Topwater baits are triggering muskies early and late in the day on Big Mantrap.