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On the south end... Walleyes are starting to stack up in various areas of the south shore with some good fall fishing taking place. Most anchored up jigging with fatheads and frozen shiners.

Various techniques are still proving effective in catching, but as water temps cool, jigging will be the desire of walleyes and has been successful this past week.

Trolling crankbaits is still catching fish. If you are struggling catching the fish you are jigging or the fish are spread out, try pulling cranks which will put your lure in front of many fish in which you only need a taker here and there for a successful day.

Good numbers of fish are still being caught pulling spinners, especially over flats or on the outside of structure.

On the Rainy River... Some very good reports on the Rainy River this week. Shiners are in the river and so are the walleyes. Is this the big run, not sure, but most are catching fish, and some big ones.

Anglers report nice fish both in Four Mile Bay and the river, but these fish are moving around. Try different spots until you find them. Look for clouds of emerald shiners, they show up nicely on most sonar.

This is the fall run and it should only get better. These river fish are moving, once you find them, it can be a memorable day. Looking for fish, trying different spots can be helpful in finding fish. Anchoring up in the same spot all day hoping the fish come through can make for a tough day.

Jigging with a frozen shiner or trolling cranks in the river are both catching walleyes.

Sturgeon activity continues to pick up as water cools. Most fishing the holes of the river. A 3 - 4 ounce weight with lower current has been sufficient combined with a sturgeon rig loaded with crawlers or crawlers and frozen shiners.

Fall is a great time to take your own boat on the small waters of the Rainy River. Boat ramps scattered from Wheeler's Point to Baudette east to Birchdale.

Up at the NW Angle... Walleye fishing stays consistently very good up at the Angle. Walleyes are being caught using the three techniques mentioned above. Some fishing MN waters, others venturing amongst the Ontario side of the lake. Good fish being caught on both sides.

In addition to fish still over deep mud, traditional structure is also holding walleyes. Points, rock islands, sunken islands, neck down areas, etc.

Some nice muskies were caught this week. October is traditionally a great month with trolling shorelines in the mix of techniques.

The government of Canada has officially announced they are lifting the COVID vaccination requirement and is allowing the ArriveCan app to be optional starting October 1, 2022. This will make the drive to the NW Angle for many, which includes about 40 miles through Canada, once again possible.

A complete list of lodging, guides, charter boat trips and ice fishing trips at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.


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Pheasant numbers spike after favorable spring

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by Minnesota DNR Reports


Pheasant numbers in Minnesota increased 18% from 2021, and exceeded the 10-year average by similar amount, according to the Minnesota DNR‘s annual roadside pheasant survey.

When the pheasant hunting season opens on Saturday, Oct. 15, bird numbers are expected to be strong.

“The weather really cooperated this year in terms of producing favorable nesting conditions for pheasants,” said Tim Lyons, DNR upland game research scientist. “Pheasant numbers are generally as good or better than last year.”

This year’s statewide pheasant index was 48 birds per 100 miles of roads driven. Compared to 2021, all regions saw an increase in pheasant numbers except the southwest, which saw a decrease of 8%.

Weather and habitat are the main influences on Minnesota’s pheasant population trends. Weather causes annual fluctuations in pheasant numbers, while habitat drives long-term population trends.

Habitat factors

Conservation Reserve Program acres in particular play a large role in providing habitat for pheasants in Minnesota. The program, authorized under the federal Farm Bill, pays farmers to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and restore vegetation that will reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and provide habitat for wildlife and pollinators.

Despite a long-term downward trend in CRP enrollment, there was a net increase in CRP acres in 2022 as approximately 5,000 additional acres were enrolled. In addition to CRP acres, there were more than 7,000 acres protected through easement programs like the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and Reinvest in Minnesota. An additional 9,000 acres of habitat were permanently protected through U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acquisitions and by the DNR as wildlife management areas.

How the DNR conducts the survey

Monitoring pheasant population trends is part of the DNR’s annual roadside wildlife survey, which began in 1955. Wildlife managers and conservation officers in the farmland regions conduct the survey during the first half of August. This year’s survey consisted of 166 routes that were 25 miles in length, with 147 routes located in the pheasant range.

Observers drive each route early in the morning and record the number of farmland wildlife game species they see. The data provide an index of species abundance and are used to monitor annual fluctuations and long-term population trends of pheasants, gray (Hungarian) partridge, eastern cottontail rabbits, white-tailed jackrabbits, mourning doves, Sandhill cranes, and white-tailed deer.

Pheasant hunting areas

Many publicly-owned lands are open to hunting, as are private lands enrolled in the state’s Walk-in-Access program (mndnr.gov/WalkIn). Hunters can use the DNR’s online mapping tools to find WMAs by accessing the WMA finder (mndnr.gov/WMAs), and the DNR Recreation Compass (mndnr.gov/Maps/Compass) to help locate state hunting grounds and private lands enrolled in the WIA program, including updates on the condition of specific properties.

Additional resources

The 2022 August Roadside Survey report, a map of pheasant hunting prospects, data for other surveyed species, and information on hunting regulations and bag limits are available on the DNR pheasant hunting page (mndnr.gov/Hunting/Pheasant)


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