Area fishing and skiing reportPermanent houses are being pulled on the lake along marked roads, with 9 inches or more of ice reported in most areas. It’s very important to utilize resort information and their roads to access the lake on ATVs or snowmobiles.
By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald
Lake of the Woods
Permanent houses are being pulled on the lake along marked roads, with 9 inches or more of ice reported in most areas. It’s very important to utilize resort information and their roads to access the lake on ATVs or snowmobiles. Water clarity is good, and walleye action has been consistent in 15 to 22 feet of water.
Ice fishing season is kicking into full swing, reports Kyle Blanchfield of Woodland Resort on Creel Bay. Ice conditions continue to improve, Blanchfield said. As of Sunday, ice measured 6 to 7 inches on Creel Bay, 7 inches at Wolford’s Bay and 8 to 10 inches on the north end of Six-Mile Bay. Main Bay had a lot of jagged ice, Blanchfield said, and wasn’t suitable for travel. Woodland plans to begin renting ice fishing houses today. So far, Blanchfield said, Creel has been good for smaller but decent walleyes and perch, while pike and walleyes are coming from the north end of Six-Mile Bay and perch from the deeper basin areas of Six-Mile Bay. On Lake Irvine, anglers are reporting as much as 15 inches of ice, Blanchfield said, and some people are driving trucks. Fishing for both pike and walleye on Irvine has been good, Blanchfield said.
Upper Red Lake
The lake now has 8 to 10 inches of ice so ATVs are being used. Limits of walleyes have been coming out of 7 to 10 feet of water on jigging spoons or plain hooks and minnows. Several big pike have been caught by walleye anglers as well.
Fishing activity is on the upswing as ice conditions improve, and anglers have reported catching walleyes on Maple Lake and the Red Lake River in Crookston. Anglers need to be careful on the ice this time of year, especially on the river.
Most lakes have 4 to 7 inches of ice, on average, and they are favorable for walking or in some cases ATV travel. Early fishing reports indicate a decent walleye bite on the 9- to 14-foot breaks of Lake Plantagenet. Spearing has been OK on some lakes, while crappies are being pulled from Bad Medicine Lake and Lake Puposky.
Most lakes average 5 to 8 inches of ice, but thicker ice is being found in some areas. The area only has about 1 inch of snow on the lakes so there aren’t any issues with getting around. Anglers are catching walleyes and perch in 10 to 20 feet of water on Blackduck Lake and Island Lake. Some of the area’s small lakes also are kicking out panfish.
As of Tuesday morning, most of the main lake had a skim of ice. Walker Bay, which has deeper water, remained open, and bays such as Kabekona, Shingobee and Steamboat had 2 to 3 inches of ice. Anglers were getting on a handful of small lakes in the area, with limited fishing success reported.
Ice measuring 7 inches thick is pretty common on most of the lake; there’s more in some areas, and anglers are using ATVs, although they need to watch for a few cracks that have developed. Spearing has been decent, and perch reports are favorable in 8 to 13 feet of water. Look for a few walleyes to be mixed in with the perch, as well.
The area received only 2 inches of snow, so most lakes have 5 to 8 inches of ice. Shiner minnows are producing walleyes in 18 to 20 feet of water on Severson Lake, Little Detroit Lake and Lake Melissa. Look for these lakes to produce crappies in slightly deeper water, as well.
Park Rapids area
Smaller lakes have as much as 8 inches of ice and very little snow so conditions are shaping up well; anglers still have to be careful on larger lakes. Smaller lakes such as Straight and the Crow Wing Chain are producing bluegills in 10 to 12 feet of water. There’s some spearing taking place on area lakes, and the reports have been good for numbers of eating-sized pike.
Downhill skiing report
• Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji: 10- to 18-inch base, groomed, making snow, 1 inch of new snow Sunday. Six runs and terrain park open; snow tubing 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, 6 inches of new snow, seven runs open. Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Info: frostfireskiarea.com.