Pat Miller, Special to the Pioneer
BEMIDJI—In many lake and river systems, the northern pike is very willing to hit a fisherman's presentation. The pike are feisty and aggressive, seemingly always hungry and have a temperament that takes full advantage of their numerous sharp teeth. Anglers who hook onto a large pike are in for a battle and, unless the fisherman is using equipment up to the task, the fish is likely to cut or snap the line and swim away unfazed. In many Bemidji area waters, however, large pike are the exception and not the rule as the pike fishery is dominated by smaller fish.
BEMIDJI—When the 2018 walleye fishing season begins at midnight on May 12, anglers will be casting jigs from the public dock on Paul Bunyan Drive, wading the shallows at Diamond Point and steering their trolling motors along the shoreline breaks near Library Park. And, most of them will be catching fish.
CASS LAKE—The walleyes in the Cass Lake Chain are constantly on the move and when the 2018 fishing season opens May 12, the anglers can use the wanderings of the walleyes to their advantage. "In the spring, the Cass Lake walleyes will travel all the way to the Power Dam on the Mississippi River and we know that they go as far as Turtle River Lake through the Turtle River," said Tony Kennedy, the Bemidji Area Fisheries large lake specialist. "We know that the Cass Lake walleyes can migrate a long way to spawn and the rivers offer the best spawning habitat in the chain."
UPPER RED LAKE—Among the success stories in Minnesota fish management is Red Lake and this summer anglers who fish Upper Red will, once again, reap the benefits.
BEMIDJI—The warmer weather and strong winds during the last week of April and the first week of May generated perfect conditions for ice break-up and most of the area lakes should offer open water when the 2018 Minnesota fishing season begins Saturday, May 12. Anglers, however, may have to adjust to the cold-water conditions if they want to boat their share of walleyes.
PARK RAPIDS — Year-in and year-out, some of the best deer hunting in Minnesota can be found in the Park Rapids area. A terrain that features a mixture of agriculture and forests creates perfect habitat for the adaptable animals and, during the past two years, mild winters have resulted in a stress-free lifestyle.
BEMIDJI—Protecting antlerless deer is a key ingredient to successfully managing a population but, if you want to see the numbers increase, you also need help from Mother Nature. Fortunately, the Bemidji area has been able to employ both components in recent years. "We've been conservative in our antlerless harvest the past few seasons and that has enabled us to maintain our adult does," said Bemidji Area DNR wildlife manager Dave Rave. "We've also had a couple of mild winters in a row."
UPPER RED LAKE – Anglers in the Bemidji area have a variety of lakes to pick from and those waters boast a multitude of different fish species that draw the attention of the fishermen. On Upper Red Lake, however, the walleye is the primary magnet. “The walleye is the target species for 97 percent of the anglers on Upper Red,” said Bemidji area DNR fisheries supervisor Gary Barnard. “And that is a fairly unique situation.”
CASS LAKE – By nature, walleyes love to wander and monitoring their travels throughout the Cass Lake Chain is among the goals of a project currently being conducted by the Bemidji area DNR Fisheries officials. Each spring the DNR officials collect walleye eggs at a spawning site near Lake Andrusia. Those eggs eventually grow into millions of fry which are used to satisfy the stocking requirements of various Bemidji area lakes.
BEMIDJI – From an angler’s perspective, the Bemidji area experienced an early spring this year and fishermen may have to alter their traditional tactics if they want to catch walleyes this weekend.