Area fishing and skiing reportThere had been as much as 7 inches of ice reported in Four Mile Bay but less ice anywhere with snow cover. The snow melted Monday with warmer temperatures and rain, and strong winds Monday night left some uncertainty about the main-lake ice.
By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald
Lake of the Woods
There had been as much as 7 inches of ice reported in Four Mile Bay but less ice anywhere with snow cover. The snow melted Monday with warmer temperatures and rain, and strong winds Monday night left some uncertainty about the main-lake ice.
Wednesday, Sportsman’s Lodge reported 4 to 6 inches of ice on Four-Mile Bay, while high winds had shifted the ice on the main lake near Pine Island, creating some very unsafe areas. The report advised no travel on the lake until cold weather returns and improves the ice. Depending on Mother Nature, the winter fishing season could hit full swing early next week, the Sportsman’s report said, but anglers should check with area resorts and bait shops before venturing out.
Ice on the main lake is about 4 inches thick, and anglers are beginning to venture out, Devils Lake Tourism reported Wednesday. Anglers have been fishing smaller lakes farther north in the basin for a couple of weeks already.
Ice conditions are pretty good on Maple Lake, where a 10-pound, 7-ounce walleye was caught Saturday, according to Ceason’s Bait and Tackle in Crookston. The Red Lake River in Crookston also is producing fish, the report said. As always, anglers this time of year should focus on “safety first.”
Upper Red Lake
Limits of walleyes have been common in 7 to 10 feet of water along most shorelines. Jigs with a minnow head or plain hooks and minnows both have worked. Most of the lake had 6 to 8 inches of ice early this week so ATVs have been an option, while some anglers are walking out a half mile or so and catching fish.
With the exception of some open spots on several big lakes, the ice held up pretty well through the warm weather, with 2 to 6 inches reported. Anglers are just starting to walk out on many lakes, and with a forecast calling for cold weather to return this week, there should be plenty of fishing options by this weekend.
People are just starting to get on area lakes, and the best news is that the snow has completely melted off the ice so ice depths should continue to improve. By this weekend, foot travel and even ATVs could be options with cold weather again taking hold over the area.
The wind blew open the ice that had started to form on Walker Bay and the main part of the lake, although some ice remained on the smaller bays and wind-protected shorelines. There wasn’t anything ready for anglers to walk on early this week, but with cold weather predicted, that could change by the weekend.
The lake is now ice-covered, with 3 inches or so reported in many areas early this week. The Third River area has a bit more ice with some limited spearing and angling taking place. Look for more activity on the main lake this weekend.
Downhill skiing report
• Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji: 10- to 18-inch base, groomed, making snow when the weather permits. Two lifts and the terrain park are open, but snow-tubing is not yet available. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Info: bvskiarea.com.
• Frostfire Ski Area near Walhalla, N.D.: 20-inch base, dusting of new snow, making snow continually when temperatures allow; four runs open. Open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Info: frostfireskiarea.com.