Msg 1 Posted: 03:41 PM 04/18/05 (CST)
Just a couple for now...|
Ice fishing is "pretty much done" for the season, Devils Lake fishing guide Jason Mitchell reports.
"I wouldn't walk on it," he said Thursday. "There's a lot of ice on the lake, but you can hear it melting. It just looks spooky."
The good news is that open water fishing is in full swing, and walleye action is picking up near the bridges and along Channel A. Pike fishing is fast and furious on Channel A, Mitchell said, but anglers should expect lots of company.
Pitching out a jig tipped with a minnow or plastic tail and slowly working it back to shore or to the boat is about the best bet for catching fish right now, he said.
Lake of the Woods
Walleye season closed Thursday, though the action for all practical purposes ended more than a week ago when the Rainy River turned muddy. The fishing always takes a drastic turn for the worse when that happens, and this year was no exception.
With walleye season closed, anglers now can turn their sights to northern pike and sturgeon. The Rainy River is open all the way to Lake of the Woods, and open water can be found as far as two miles past Pine Island, fishing guide Tom Stay of Baudette, Minn., reported Wednesday. Look for the amount of open water to vary, depending on the direction of wind.
The big lake also is losing its ice in the Northwest Angle area. Frank Walsh of Bay Store Camp on Oak Island said Thursday he expects that area will be completely ice free in less than two weeks. "I'm looking at maybe 200 yards of ice outside my window and then water the rest of the way," Walsh said.
The ice is off Maple Lake near Mentor, Minn., but fishing reports are scarce, according to Myron Kaiser of Ceason's Bait and Tackle in Crookston. "There's been people going out, but they're not saying" how the fishing is, Kaiser said. The only report to date comes from Stuart Bensen, conservation officer for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources near Erskine. Bensen says he encountered a couple earlier in the week who were catching bullheads from shore at Maple - hardly an attraction for most, but Bensen says the anglers appeared happy with their catch.
This is transition time for fishing right now. No one is ice fishing, and bigger area lakes are not ready for open water fishing, according to the weekly report from the Minnesota Office of Tourism. Anglers should be able to get out in their boats on the smaller lakes by this weekend, the report said. Sunday was the last day for ice anglers on Upper Red Lake, where the ice no longer is safe for fishing. Look for good shoreline crappie action once the ice goes out, though.