Lake of the Woods
Walleye fishing along the South Shore is excellent, Lake of the Woods Tourism reports in its weekly update. Anglers are finding schools of walleyes in many locations around the lake from Lighthouse Gap to Rocky Point and up to islands farther offshore in Big Traverse Bay. Most anglers are anchored and jigging with minnows and frozen shiners in depths ranging from 15 to 30 feet. Gold combined with pink, yellow, chartreuse and orange all are productive colors.
Similar reports are coming from the Northwest Angle, where anglers are having their best luck along island and shoreline structure such as points and areas with current in a variety of depths. Gold by itself or combined with another bright color has produced the best results. Saugers, pike and perch also are in the mix.
Fishing last week improved with the weather as the sun comes out and rain subsides, Woodland Resort reported Thursday. Pike fishing is still very good and the walleye fishing is improving. Anglers are reporting success on the western half of the lake in areas such as Six-Mile Bay, Doc Hagens, Old Mill Bay and along the Golden Highway, the report said.
Anglers are having their best success using slip-bobbers and leeches along shoreline areas with lots of vegetation and structure in 15 to 20 feet of water. Fish also are hitting crankbaits and spinners trolled along contour lines in 15 to 25 feet of water. Woodland recommends that anglers who mark fish while trolling but can’t get them to bite should try moving deeper. Trolling has worked best during the day, with slip-bobbers a productive option during the morning and evening hours.
Catfishing is getting better each day and fish are becoming more active with the final arrival of some stable, sunny weather, Grand Forks catfish guide Brad Durick reports. The best locations have been just out of the main current in areas with a hole or some sort of structure. Anglers should use caution, Durick advises, because the water came up 3 feet this week, causing debris to come down the river. Fish are holding right on the edge of where this debris is running.
As for bait, Durick says he’s using small chunks of cut sucker to avoid short bites but anglers have reported catching cats on a variety of baits. Stable weather in the forecast says should mean good fishing for the foreseeable future, Durick said.
It took until the last week in May to get temperatures above 70 degrees in the Bemidji area, and surface water temperatures were still at 49 to 51 degrees early this week on Lake Bemidji, said Paul Nelson of Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service. That’s about 10 degrees behind normal for this time of year. Most lakes in the Bemidji area now are in the mid to upper 50s.
Most of the action for walleyes has been on spottail shiners and jigs, Nelson said. Shiner supplies have been much better recently, he said, with most bait shops having an ample supply of the highly desired minnows.
Here’s a look at fishing reports from other lakes in the Bemidji area:
- Leech Lake: Walleyes have been feeding their way out of the shallow bays such as Portage, Sucker, Steamboat and Boy bays and headed for the main lake or Walker Bay. Walker Bay is the deepest bay in Leech Lake and is home for many of the larger walleyes during the summer, Nelson said. Walleyes also will inhabit the many rock piles and humps in the main lake during the summer.
- Cass Lake chain: Walleyes are moving back into the main lake, where they often prefer to spend the summer in deeper areas. Midlake structure and main lake habitat on most larger lakes will continue to attract more fish as the insect hatches begin and more fish leave the shoreline and head for structures surrounded by the mud basin.
- Lake Winnibigoshish: Anglers have reported good numbers of larger larger walleyes in the 18- to 23-inch protected slot, but the recruitment of smaller fish is still mainly one age-class of fish measuring 12 to 13 inches. Those fish should become more desirable for anglers by later this fall or next season.
- Upper Red Lake: Anglers continue to catch walleyes in good numbers on days the wind is calm enough to get on the lake. There also have been good walleye bites on Blackduck, Plantagenet, Irving and Andrusia, Nelson said.