Wow, talk about a fast transition from ice fishing to open water fishing.
Sue Kaiser from Ceason’s Bait and Tackle in Crookston called this morning and left a message that Maple Lake, Union Lake and Lake Sarah in Polk County now are free of ice, as is the Red Lake River in Crookston. Maple typically is known for its early season crappie fishing so once the shallow bays warm up a bit, look for the action to kick into high gear.
Farther north, the Rainy River, which flows into Lake of the Woods, also is opening fast. A contact from the area told me this afternoon that the boat ramps along the river still are relatively quiet — unusual for spring fishing along the Rainy — but that could change any time. So, if you’ve got the boat out of storage and have time for a road trip, the next few days could be prime time to get out and enjoy before the crowds converge. I’ve heard some good walleye reports already, and with minimal runoff, water clarity should be conducive to good fishing through the close of season April 14. Now also is the time to tangle with lake sturgeon along the Rainy.
According to a report this afternoon from Sportsman’s Lodge near Baudette, Minn., the Vidas Landing near Clementson, Minn., now is open, along with the Frontier, Nelson Park and Franz Jevne State Park landings farther east. At this rate, the Rainy should be open to the Sportsman’s docks by this weekend and perhaps all the way to the Wheeler’s Point access, the report said.