Area anglers do well in Devils Lake pro walleye tourney

A few tidbits on this Monday morning as I gear up to spend the better part of the next two weeks in the woods of northern Minnesota:

Chad Maloy (left) and Don Denning of Fargo show off their tournament high bag of five walleyes weighing 36 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday on Devils Lake. The pair finished second in the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit tournament that ended Saturday.

Area teams had a strong showing in the three-day Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit tournament that wrapped up Saturday on Devils Lake. Wisconsin pros Korey Sprengel and Derek Navis won the tournament with a three-day bag of 85 pounds, 13 ounces, edging the Fargo team of Don Denning and Chad Maloy, who weighed in the biggest bag of the tournament Saturday with five walleyes that tipped the scales at a whopping 36 pounds, 12 ounces — more than a 7-pound average.

The tournament was headquartered at Grahams Island State Park.

Maloy said they caught their fish vertical jigging with Jigging Raps and Northland Puppet Minnows in a rock-mud transition area in 33 to 34 feet of water. Saturday, Maloy said he and Denning caught their fish early and were off the water about 10 a.m., dodging the brunt of the wind that grew stronger throughout the day.

Rounding out the area anglers in the 38-team tournament were Spencer Deutz, Moorhead and Ron Deutz, Fargo, who placed fourth  with 71 pounds, 11 ounces; Troy Morris, Fargo, and Kevin Bruer, Robbinsdale, Minn., sixth, 64 pounds, 14 ounces; and Al Freidig and Clint Devier, both of Devils Lake, 11th, 59 pounds, 4 ounces. Freidig and Devier also had big fish of the tournament with a walleye weighing 10 pounds, 5 ounces.

All are members of the F-M Walleyes fishing club.

Hunting success during the 33rd annual Ruffed Grouse Society National Grouse and Woodcock Hunt was on par with last year, despite a large increase in spring drumming counts. Hunters participating in the Oct. 9-10 event near Grand Rapids, Minn., shot an average of 1.07 grouse per day, up only slightly from 1.06 last year. The woodcock harvest was down, with an average of 1.8 this year, compared with 2.03 last year.

The Forks Rifle Club is holding its annual sighting-in days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 25-26 at the club’s W.G. Coulter Range, located 8½ miles west of Merrifield, N.D., on Grand Forks County Road 6. According to club member Tom Reiten, club personnel will be on hand to help hunters sight in their firearms for the upcoming deer season. North Dakota’s deer gun season opens at noon Nov. 7, and Minnesota’s firearms deer season opens a half-hour before sunrise Nov. 8.

Whitetail Lunatics posts video of successful Kittson County elk hunt

Mitch Wilson of Squaw Lake, Minn., emailed Sunday to share a link to the video of the 6×7 bull elk he shot Sept. 14 in Kittson County the second morning of elk season in northwest Minnesota. A videographer for the group Whitetail Lunatics was in an enclosed stand with Wilson and documented what ultimately turned out to be a successful hunt.

Mitch Wilson (left) of Squaw Lake, Minn., shot this 6×7 bull elk the second morning of the Kittson County season near Lancaster, Minn. Pictured with Wilson is his 10-year-old son, Owen.

The pair had spent the night in the stand to increase their odds of encountering elk at first light.

I wrote about Wilson’s hunt in the Sept. 21 outdoors section, and here’s how he described the encounter:

“As it became light, we could see and hear a nice bull bugling from his bed 240 yards away in a food plot,” Wilson said. “Two other bulls were there feeding, and eventually, when the light got better, I took this 6×7 at 242 yards.”

As the video shows, the hunt didn’t lack for excitement or anticipation and shows, yet again, the quality of northwest Minnesota’s small elk herd.


Larval zebra mussels resurface in Red River near Wahpeton

After two years of no findings, young zebra mussels again have been found in the upstream portion of the Red River near Wahpeton, N.D.

Larval zebra mussels first were found at Wahpeton in 2010 and again in 2011, but hadn’t been found the past two years.

Fred Rykman, aquatic nuisance species coordinator for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the latest detection wasn’t entirely unexpected.

“Since we have found zebra mussel young in this area before, and because there are established adult populations upstream in the Otter Tail River in Minnesota, finding a few young this year really didn’t come as a surprise,” Ryckman said.

Despite recent reports of new and expanding zebra mussel infestations in Minnesota, to date adult zebra mussels have not been found in any North Dakota waters. Young zebra mussels have only been found in North Dakota at this single site on the Red River.

At the lower end of the watershed, adult zebra mussels were found last fall in Lake Winnipeg and now appear to have become established in the big lake.

With the latest finding at Wahpeton, local entities and river users should be sure to check for any signs of the invasive mussels when when pulling and storing fishing piers, boat docks and lifts prior to ice up.

“It is especially important to look for zebra mussels during this winter prep work to determine if mussels are present,” Ryckman said. “They attach to these types of hard surfaces.”

If mussels are found, citizens are requested to leave the suspicious mussel attached, take a digital picture, and report findings immediately to a local Game and Fish Department district office. Pictures of zebra mussels are available on the 100th Meridian Initiative website at


ANS surveillance along the Red River was conducted by Valley City State University and funded by Game and