Area fishing and hunting reportThe open-water season is winding down although the Clementson and Frontier areas on the Rainy River are giving up walleyes.
By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald
Lake of the Woods
The open-water season is winding down although the Clementson and Frontier areas on the Rainy River are giving up walleyes. There was some good walleye action reported in front of Pine Island in 25 feet of water, as well. At the Northwest Angle, anglers are catching walleyes in 30 to 40 feet of water off the points. Duck numbers have increased on the main lake, with successful reports of northern ducks being shot in Four-Mile Bay and at the Angle.
Upper Red Lake
Fishing pressure has been very low with everyone shifting into full hunting mode. Deer hunters are seeing quite a few does and fawns, and the bigger bucks just started to move earlier this week. Wolf sightings have been limited, and grouse are still available for guys working the backwoods trails.
Hunters are seeing good numbers of deer and many reported that bucks are actively chasing does. Overall, most reports indicate an increase in buck harvest from opening weekend last year with better numbers of big bucks shot. Duck numbers increased last weekend, with more divers in the mix. Fishing pressure has been limited to Lake Bemidji and Lake Plantagenet, where sucker minnows continue to trigger muskies.
Deer hunting reports have been decent, with about 200 animals registered as of Tuesday morning. There have been a good number of big bucks brought in, and most hunters are seeing plenty of deer, although many of them believe this weekend will be better with the rut moving forward. The few hunters sticking with ducks have done well shooting divers and northern mallards.
The deer season started on a good note for many groups, with most reporting they saw plenty of deer. The one constant was that big buck sightings were minimal and that hunters shot quite a few basket-rack bucks. Although hunting pressure is limited, there are northern ducks to be had on the main lake. On the fishing side, the south end of Walker Bay continues to kick out walleyes on minnows and jigs in 35 feet of water.
With the deer season in full swing, fishing pressure has been nonexistent. Fishing reports likely will remain limited until ice forms and anglers begin to find enough ice to walk on or access with an ATV.
Park Rapids area
Overall, the deer season started on a good note for most groups, with many hunters reporting they’ve seen a lot of deer. Buck activity also appears high, based on hunter accounts that indicate bucks have been chasing does throughout the week. Waterfowl hunters have mentioned that northern mallards and divers moved into the area last weekend in decent numbers.
Area waterfowl update
• Devils Lake: Waterfowl have mostly left the Devils Lake area, reports Mark Fisher, district wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Devils Lake. A few pockets of snow geese and mallards remain, Fisher said, but a major exodus of birds has occurred during the past five days. The landscape again is snow-free, and many small wetlands have lost their ice cover, Fisher said, but there’s a noticeable dearth of birds.
• Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area near Middle River, Minn.: Thief Lake reopened after nearly a week of continuous ice cover, and good numbers of Canada geese and swans continue to roost on the lake, the Department of Natural Resources reported Wednesday in its weekly waterfowl update. Geese and mallards have been observed flying out to feed in fields, but there haven’t been any recent flights to estimate bird numbers. Hunting pressure has been light, and bag checks of hunters using the partially frozen lake averaged one duck per hunter. The lake likely will refreeze this weekend if a potential winter storm in the forecast comes to pass.