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OUTDOOR REPORT: Best Lake of the Woods action in water 27 feet and deeper, Perch bite heats up on Devils Lake, look to Minnesota for best ski conditions

Joe Henry (right) of Lake of the Woods Tourism and Rick Rone, mayor of Baudette, Minn., show off Rone’s 22¾-inch walleye caught Jan. 3 during the Walleye Wars fishing event between Lake of the Woods and Devils Lake. The fish was good for big walleye bragging rights on the day. (Photo courtesy of Lake of the Woods Tourism)

Lake of the Woods

Look for walleyes and saugers in 19 to 31 feet of water, with the best action in water that's 27 feet or deeper, Lake of the Woods Tourism reports in its weekly update. Actively jig one line and run a plain hook or jig tipped with a minnow below a bobber on the second line. A plain hook-and-minnow combo has been particularly productive in recent days, Lake of the Woods Tourism said. Ice is 14 to 20 inches thick where resorts are fishing.

Fishing is excellent up at the Northwest Angle, where anglers are finding nice numbers of walleyes coming through, with saugers, perch, pike, tullibees and eelpout mixed in, Lake of the Woods Tourism said. Best action is in 18 to 26 feet of water.

Most of the resorts that maintain plowed ice roads on the south shore now are allowing access to vehicles of all sizes, but anglers should check with the resorts they are using for the most recent updates, as ice conditions can change.

Devils Lake

Look deep for perch—as in 40 to 50 feet of water—and rig up with small tungsten jigs tipped with spikes or waxworms. Some very good reports have been coming in, of late. The key is to keep on the move until finding an active school. Best walleye action is early in the morning and again at dusk. Rattle spoons tipped with a minnow head, Jigging Rapalas or similar lures are proven producers on the big lake.

Downhill skiing update

• Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji: Machine groomed with a 28- to 48-inch base; 2 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and 12 inches of new snow in the past week as of Jan. 8; not making snow. Skiing and snowboarding hours 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday (Friday Night Under the Lights specials from 4 to 8 p.m.), 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Tubing park hours 4 to 8 p.m. Friday (Friday Night Under the Lights specials), and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Info: bvskiarea.com.

• Detroit Mountain Recreation Area near Detroit Lakes, Minn.: 24- to 50-inch base; no new snow in the past 24 hours and 13 inches of new snow in the past week as of last update Dec. 31; making snow. Info: detroitmountain.com.

Area trails update

• Grand Forks Greenway: Fluctuating temperatures before the recent cold snap created slippery conditions along parts of the trail, Greenway staff report on its Facebook page. Patches of ice have developed throughout the system, especially under bridges and shady areas, the report indicated.

• Turtle River State Park, N.D.: No recent updates.

• Hayes Lake State Park near Roseau, Minn.: Good skiing conditions, groomed with a 4-inch base; excellent snowmobiling conditions, groomed with a 6-inch base; local snow depth 12 inches.

• Itasca State Park, Minn.: Excellent skiing conditions, with a 6- to 7-inch base and 13 miles groomed; excellent snowmobiling conditions, with a 3- to 4-inch base and 31 miles groomed; local snow depth 15 inches.

• Lake Bemidji State Park: Very good skiing conditions, with a 4-inch base and 9 miles groomed; good snowmobiling conditions, with a 4-inch base and 3 miles groomed; local snow depth 12 inches.

• Lake Bronson State Park, Minn.: Good skiing conditions, with a 3-inch base and 3 miles groomed; good snowmobiling conditions but trail isn't groomed; local snow depth 7 inches.

• Old Mill State Park, Minn.: Poor snowmobiling conditions; local snow depth 7 inches.

• Zippel Bay State Park near Williams, Minn.: Very good skiing conditions, with a 4-inch base and groomed; good snowmobile conditions, with a 4-inch base and 3 miles groomed; local snow depth 10 inches.

• Lake Region Trail (Nelson and Ramsey counties): Trails 1, 2, 5 and 6 are open as of last update Jan. 5. Trail 1 was groomed Jan. 3, and trails 2, 5 and 6 were groomed Jan. 4; snow depth 8 to 9 inches. More info: snowmobilend.org/trails.

-- Herald staff reports