Outdoors Report: Fishing holds strong on Lake of the Woods, Blustery weather should improve weekend waterfowl hunting prospects
Lake of the Woods
Walleye action is good, Lake of the Woods Tourism reports in its weekly update. Anglers continue to sort through numbers of smaller saugers and walleyes to find keepers. Walleyes are staged in front of Pine Island, Zippel Bay, Long Point, Graceton Beach and the Gap in 18 feet to 30 feet of water, Lake of the Woods Tourism said. Anglers are having their best luck anchoring and jigging with a shiner. Up at the Northwest Angle, walleyes are hitting in 14 to 30 feet of water, with jigging the most effective method. Look for crappies around sunken trees and deep holes in Ontario waters, with good numbers of perch in the same areas.
Anglers are finding success up and down the river. Schools of shiners continue to randomly enter the river, and when they do, the walleyes are close behind, Lake of the Woods Tourism reports. Vertical jigging with a shiner while anchored is the go-to method, but some anglers have reported success trolling crankbaits in parts of the river east of Baudette, Minn.
Area waterfowl update
• Devils Lake area: Waterfowl hunting in the Lake Region was poor over the past week, and hunter pressure has been extreme, reports Mark Fisher, district wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Devils Lake. As of midweek, the area was in a period where local ducks either had moved out of the area or were widely scattered without replacement of northern migrant birds. That should change with Thursday's blustery weather, which could push more birds down from Canada and improve hunting for this weekend. Diving ducks and snow geese have begun showing up in good, huntable numbers, Fisher said. All wetland habitat continues to remain ice-free, and corn harvest has begun across the region, Fisher said.
• Roseau River Wildlife Management Area north of Badger, Minn.: Duck and goose numbers are low, but Thursday's rain, snow and northerly wind should push some migrants down from Canada.
• Thief Lake WMA near Middle River, Minn.: A ground count puts Canada geese numbers at about 2,700. Cold temperatures in the forecast for Friday night will lead to significant ice formation and potentially freeze the lake. Hunter pressure over the long Minnesota teacher convention weekend was high, with more people hunting Saturday, Oct. 21 than opening day. Hunters averaged 1.46 ducks per hunter, a number that improved to 2.42 on Monday and 1.94 on Wednesday. Ringnecks and redheads remain the most common ducks in the bag.
-- Herald staff report