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Fishing Report: Lake of the Woods, Devils Lake continue to produce good walleye action

Charter boats docked on the Rainy River north of Baudette, Minn. (Lake of the Woods Tourism photo)

Lake of the Woods

If you like big walleyes, the bite is on, Lake of the Woods Tourism said in its weekly update. Spinners with crawlers, and crankbaits trolled in 28 feet to 31 feet of water are producing numbers of fish and big fish. Deep mud and deep reefs both are producing, the report said. Gold, glow and bright colors continue to be solid choices.

Excellent fishing continues at the Northwest Angle, where anglers in Minnesota waters are doing well pulling spinners from Four Blocks to Garden Island in 26 feet to 30 feet of water. In Canadian waters, jigging walleyes early in the morning and later in the afternoon has been the best, Lake of the Woods Tourism reports. Pulling spinners in 20 feet to 28 feet of water along the reefs also is a good technique. Muskies have been very active, with anglers reportedly seeing many fish.

Devils Lake

Fishing has been good with the onset of stable weather and less wind, and many anglers have reported walleye success, Devils Lake Tourism reports. Anglers pulling spinners and bottom bouncers are doing well in 15 to 25 feet of water. Nightcrawlers and Berkley Gulp both are working. Deep structure also is starting to produce fish, the report said, and anglers can target deep walleyes with crankbaits and lead-core line, rip jigging with Jigging Raps or similar baits or using slip bobbers on days when it's not too windy, the report said.

Red River

Catfishing is pretty good considering the high water temperatures and low river levels, Grand Forks catfish guide Brad Durick reports. Catfish are holding in the middle of the river, typically in the center of the holes, Durick said, and the active fish are pretty quick to find the baits. The lack of current has the fish spread out so anglers should cast their lines in a wide spread, if possible, or even move baits around every few minutes to find the active fish, Durick said. If you can find a good visible current, give it a try as there will be catfish nearby. Frogs have been the most productive baits in the morning and evening, with the fish showing a preference for frozen suckers during the day. Cooler nights are bringing water temperatures down so the bait preference should switch back to fresh sucker or goldeye.

For safety, the river above Riverside Dam in Grand Forks is good for navigation, but anglers fishing downstream from the dam should use extreme caution because of the low water levels. It's fishable, Durick said; just be careful.

Bemidji area

The walleye bite remains sluggish, with best action during low-light periods and cloudy days with some wind, Dick Beardsley of Dick Beardsley Fishing Guide Service said in this week's update. Deeper humps and deep breaks are producing fish on spinners or live bait rigs and leeches or crawlers, Beardsley said; Jigging Raps also work, at times. Northern pike are active along the deep weed edges, where live bait rigs and sucker minnows work well, Beardsley said; pike also are hitting jig-and-minnow combos. Look for crappies in the cabbage early and late in the day and along the outside edge of deeper cabbage the rest of the day, Beardsley said. Small jigs and plastics are working well, and most of the bigger crappies have been right near the bottom. Bluegill action is good in areas with deep cabbage, and bass fishing remains excellent all day long, Beardsley said. For bass, try topwater baits early and late and Texas-rigged plastic worms during the day as the fish slide out to deep weed edges.

Leech Lake

Fishing has been stable during the recent stretch of more consistent weather, Jason Freed of Leisure Outdoor Adventures reports. For walleyes, trolling Shad Raps or similar crankbaits during the day and evening in 11 to 14 feet of water has been the most effective technique for "keeper"-size fish. Early and late in the day, Freed suggests pitching a jig and a leech or throwing a slip bobber into areas of weeds, cabbage or shallow rock piles. The rocks also will produce the occasional bonus smallmouth or two, he said.

-- Herald staff report

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