Area fishing and skiing reportSaugers and walleyes are biting in 19 to 31 feet of water along the south shore. There’s been plenty of action and fish to bring home with the occasional trophy walleye, eelpout, pike, perch, sturgeon and tullibee mixed in, as well.
By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald
Lake of the Woods
Saugers and walleyes are biting in 19 to 31 feet of water along the south shore. There’s been plenty of action and fish to bring home with the occasional trophy walleye, eelpout, pike, perch, sturgeon and tullibee mixed in, as well. Pink and gold jigs or plain hooks and minnows have been most productive. Most of the resorts with plowed access roads from Wheeler’s Point to Long Point north of Williams, Minn., now are allowing larger vehicles, although some have restrictions on 1-ton trucks and wheel fish houses longer than 20 feet. Check with area resorts for the latest ice road updates. Farther west, the “Babler Road” near Rocky Point is open and marked to Gull Rock, and Springsteel Resort north of Warroad, Minn., has a trail marked to the south tip of Buffalo Point. At the Northwest Angle, houses have been setting up in 20 feet of water south of Oak Island for walleyes or 35 feet in Ontario waters for crappies.
It’s been a good news-bad news story here. The recent cold snap means the lake now has 15 inches to 16 inches of excellent ice, and anglers are driving full-size trucks on Creel Bay. On the downside, fishing in general took a turn for the slower during the recent colder weather. According to Kyle Blanchfield of Woodland Resort, anglers have marked lots of perch, but getting them to bite has been a challenge. Anglers also have been catching a few walleyes, Blanchfield said; not huge numbers, but the fish have been decent. Look for walleyes in 14 to 22 feet of water, especially early and late in the day, and perch in deeper water.
Upper Red Lake
Gold or red glow jigs and spoons tipped with minnows are producing walleyes in 11 to 13 feet of water throughout much of the day. There’s also been consistent walleye action during low-light periods in 7 to 10 feet. Anglers fishing walleyes during midday hours also are catching a few northern pike.
Walleyes can be had during the evening hours and overnight on Lake Bemidji in 13 to 18 feet of water. It seems as if a jigging spoon coaxes them in and then most hit a dead stick-and-shiner minnow combination. During the day, anglers can expect to find perch roaming deeper water on Bemidji. At Lake Plantagenet, walleyes are hitting spoons and setlines during low-light periods in 24 to 28 feet. On the north end of Big Turtle Lake, crappies are suspended and biting over 34 feet, while walleyes are biting in the 8-foot reeds at sunset. Crappies also are being found suspended over 27 feet on Medicine Lake.
Look for perch during the day and walleyes during low-light periods in 12 to 20 feet of water on Blackduck Lake and Island Lake. Jigging spoons and minnow heads are producing both species. Anglers are catching bluegills and some crappies in 16 to 20 feet of water on Gull Lake and Rabideau Lake.
Cass Lake area
Allen’s Bay continues to be the best option for walleyes on Cass Lake in 16 feet of water. Walleyes also can be had in 16 feet on the east and west sides of Pike Bay. Perch action has been best on the southwest corner in 8 feet or on the 12-foot weed edges throughout Cass. The shallow weeded areas of Allen’s Bay are producing northern pike.
Walleye activity seems to spike during the early morning and evening hours off Goose Island in 12 to 16 feet of water, Grand Vu Flats in 8 to 12 feet and near Stony Point in 18 to 24 feet. The 14- to 23-foot shoreline breaks in Walker Bay have been more productive than the main-bay humps for walleyes in recent days. Perch and bluegill reports have been limited.
Perch action involves some sorting through smaller fish, but good numbers of “keepers” are being taken in 6 to 12 feet throughout the west shoreline. Walleye reports have been improving on the main lake, with a consistent bite coming off the east-side humps in 16 to 20 feet during low-light periods. Northern pike action has been strong for spearing and angling in less than 10 feet throughout the lake.
Setlines and spoons are both producing walleyes during low-light periods in 17 to 20 feet of water on lakes Sallie, Big Detroit, Melissa, Pelican, Big Cormorant and Upper Cormorant. Crappies are suspended over 17 feet on Big Detroit, Deadshot Bay, Sour, Big Floyd, Middle Floyd, Little Floyd, Severson and Little Pelican lakes. Look for bluegills and northern pike in 12 feet on Deadshot Bay, Floyd, Melissa, Severson and Little Detroit lakes.
Park Rapids area
Low-light periods have been productive for walleyes on Fish Hook Lake in 18 to 24 feet of water or Potato Lake in 18 to 21 feet. Look for suspended crappies over 25 to 30 feet on Big Mantrap Lake and the Crow Wing Chain. Sucker minnows continue to produce northern pike on Big Mantrap in 12 to 14 feet, and bluegill action is steady in 10 to 12 feet of water on Fish Hook and Portage lakes.
Downhill skiing report
• Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji: 20- to 28-inch base, machine groomed, making snow, 2 inches of new snow. Skiing and snowboarding hours 4 to 8 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday; tubing hours 4 to 8 p.m. today, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Info: bvskiarea.com.
• Frostfire Ski Area near Walhalla, N.D.: 20-inch base, trace of new snow, making snow continually when temperatures allow, all 10 runs open. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Sunday. Info: frostfireskiarea.com.
Snowmobile trails report
• Lake of the Woods: Lake trails are scheduled for their first grooming today, including the entire “Super Loop” trail from Wheeler’s Point to Warroad, Minn.; Warroad to Oak Island and the Northwest Angle; and Oak Island-Northwest Angle to Wheeler’s Point. Land trails don’t yet have enough snow to groom. Snow depth is 6 to 8 inches.
• Lake Bemidji State Park: Trails are groomed and packed to a 1-inch base; rock skis remain the norm. Local snow depth is 4½ inches.
• Lake Bronson State Park, Minn.: Conditions are fair, but trails haven’t yet been groomed; local snow depth 5 inches.
• Zippel Bay State Park, Minn.: Trail conditions are fair, with a 2-inch base, and part of the trail system is groomed; local snow depth 6 inches.