Author Archives: Sportsman's Lodges

Great fishing this week!


Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge

It has been an awesome week of fishing in the islands.

Lots of hungry walleyes snapping at the lines. 3/8 ounce red and gold or white jig tipped with a minnow has been working well.  Some of the best fishing has been found deeper than normal, 23’-26’ around rocky points. Anchored or a slow troll has been working the best. Water temp is around the 60 degree mark right now.

We have had a warm May and it looks like more warm temps headed our way for the weekend.

It’s that time of year! Check us out online and give us a call 800-772-8411. Good luck fishing!

Opener Weekend!


Sportsman’s Lodge

Opener Weekend
What a fun weekend! I think we had some of the best weather we have ever had for opener and great fishing!  Check out some of the highlights of the weekend. Captain Wes and Darryl were hot on the walleyes and sturgeon this weekend.

Walleyes and saugers hugged in close in the river, bays and shallows this weekend. A jig and chub or shiner minnow worked well.  A variety of sizes were reeled in, good eaters, babies and some big girls too. Slow jigging gold, pink and orange were hot choices in 12’-20’ water.  Gumballs, RZ Jigs and fire balls were popular. Some anglers not only enjoyed fishing for walleyes but also had some great luck sturgeon fishing the last weekend of the spring season.  Several 50+ inch sturgeon were caught during the last weekend of the spring season. Some of the best sturgeon fishing was  in the river and bays using a gob of worms on a 4/0 or 5/0 hook and a few ounces no roll sinker. Sturgeon season re-opens July 1. The water temperature has been rising, current temperature is 56 degrees. The water level is a few feet low.  Chance of some rain later this week should start bringing that up. Temps are forecasted in the 60’s and 70’s for the week.  Let’s go fishing; the guides are ready to take you out!

8 More Days of Spring Specials
Nightly lodging starting at $43 per person and up to 20% off summer packages through May 23. Two nights lodging in a lodge room or cabin and 1 day charter fishing aboard a 27’ boat, guide, use of fishing poles, bait, tackle and fish cleaning only $207 per person. Click here to learn more and come have some fun!   *plus tax and based on double occupancy

Memorial Weekend openings still available.
Click here

Great Weather & Walleyes


Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge

Great Weather & Walleyes
What a great opener, excellent weather and hungry walleyes.  Anglers had no problem some nice walleyes this weekend. Shallow points were hot using a gold or pink jig tipped with a minnow. We are looking forward to a fun summer of fishing.

Pike anglers had great success too using smelt lying on bottom in bays and creeks.   Minnesota opener was this past weekend for walleye and this Saturday, May 19 is Ontario’s opener weekend just a hop, skip and a jump from the lodge.  Most of the ice is gone now.

Gregg took his first run across the lake yesterday. He said it was mostly clear with just a few ice chunks floating around. Water temperature is hovering around 50-53 degrees and the water level is currently low.

Come see us this summer!
Head to the islands for some great fishing and relaxation. We are your multi species mecca. Lodging and fishing packages available.  Click here to learn more.

Lake of the Woods Satellite Picture Update 5-10-2018


Lake of the Woods Satellite Picture Update 5-10-2018

Check out the latest satellite picture from today compared to Mondays!
Big changes happening here the past few days! We have not been across the lake to check it out yet, so please use caution when venturing out. It sure looks like the ice is disappearing quickly.
Opener forecast is looking good!  Woohoo! Let’s go fishing!

Sportsman’s 2018 Sturgeon Tournament Raised over $2,000 for Lake of the Woods -TAKF

Baudette, MN – The Sportsman’s Lodge Annual Sturgeon Tournament had a full field of 60 boats and 169 anglers that battled it out over two days on Friday May 4 and Saturday May 5 for over $9,000 in cash and prizes. The 12th annual catch and release tournament was headquartered at the beautiful Sportsman’s Lodge and the fishing area was focused on 1.2 mile area right in front of the lodge on the Rainy River. Tournament Emcee Bryan “Beef” Sathre said “Over 150 sturgeon were caught and released with five of those fish being previously tagged by DNR fisheries.”
Tournament participants paid a $90 entry fee per person which included an incredible prime rib dinner as part of the tournament fee. The top two sturgeon of each day were awarded large cash prizes to match their big catch, with third place each day receiving a custom built fishing rod built by Sportsman’s guide, Ralph Christofferson. In addition, many more prizes were awarded for the biggest Bullhead, Sucker, Eel Pout, under 18 years old, and biggest sturgeon caught by a female.
For the first time in the history of this tournament, at the banquet, the participants helped raise funds for the Lake of the Woods Take a Kid Fishing Program (TAKF). Through this the participants had the chance to win prizes from generous sponsorships from local businesses and fishing industry providers.
The tournament raised $2,610 for the TAKF event. “We are very deeply appreciative of the support the participants put forth to raise this money for such a great local program,” Gregg Hennum, Owner of Sportsman’s Lodge said. Lake of the Woods TAKF board member Ralph Christofferson, was on hand to accept the donation. “This is amazing, thank you,” he said.
Sportsman’s Lodge would like to thank the participants, tournament coordinator and emcee extraordinaire Bryan “Beef” Sathre from Fathead Guide Service, guides, staff, and the gracious sponsors, Northwood’s Bait and Tackle, Log Cabin Bait, CLAM, Mission Tackle, Jim Joy from Sysco Foods, Restaurant 71, S.S. Bait Co, Striker Ice, and Northland Fishing Tackle. “Without all the help we couldn’t have made this such a huge success,” Sathre said. “Thank you to everyone who attended, It was a blast and we can’t wait for next year.”
Next year’s tournament is scheduled for May 3 & 4, 2019. At this time the tournament is already sold out for next year but anyone interested in joining is always encouraged to join the waiting list by contacting Sportsman’s Lodge at 800-862-8602 or online at
Day 1 winner Jake Waldo
Day 1

First Place: Jake Waldo 63.5″ 22″ girth Bovey
Second Place: Tony Klaers 59″ 22.5″ girth Bemidji
Third Place: Marshall Hopp 57″ 19.75″ girth Valley City, ND
Day 2 Winner Tony Klaers
Day 2

First Place: Tony Klaers 63″ 26.75″ girth Bemidji
Second Place: Mark Sage 63″ 20.5″ girth Thompson, ND
Third Place: Ben Simonson 62 1/8″ 23.5″ girth Valley City, ND

It’s Walleye Time!!



4 Days until walleye opener. Let’s go fishing!!
With the cool spring and late spawn, walleyes should be stacked up in the shallows, bays and river. The fishing should be fantastic!  The Rainy River is open, many bays and outside Pine Island/Lighthouse Gap up to a few miles right now has open water and we expect the lake to open up more in the next few days.  Lots of fishable areas open for opener.

Remaining ice is looking more gray every day!

We are getting some rain today (forecasting ¼ inch) and winds gusting up to 20 mph. The rest of the week looks dry but gusts up to 20mph tomorrow too. This should do some well needed damage to the ice.  Opener forecast is looking good, calling for highs in the mid 60’s, partly cloudy and light and variable wind.  Water level is low and clarity this weekend was about a foot in the river. Water temperature today is 54 degrees and current is slower than average.

Rigging Up
A jig and a shiner or chub are a good choice for Saturday. Do a little bouncing off bottom in shallow waters, river and bays.  Start off your weekend early with pike and sturgeon fishing. Pike season is open all year on Lake of the Woods and sturgeon season catch and release is open now through May 15.  Pike are hitting on jigs with a smelt sitting on the bottom or crankbaits in the shallow bays.  Sturgeon are being found in the deep holes of the river and bays using a 4/0 or 5/0 hook, 2-4 ounce no roll sinker, gob of worms and a little something for smell like a shiner or two. Lots of fishing opportunities abound.

2018 Sturgeon Tournament was a hit!
We enjoyed another fun tournament this past weekend. Like our Facebook page and check out all of the highlights on our page.

1st place winners of day 1 and day 2 taking home $2,280 each. Jake Waldo from Bovey 63.5 inch and 22 inch girth and Tony Klaers

Walleye Opener – Few rooms and guided spots left!
Two nights lodging and 1 day charter fishing (all equipment included) packages starting at only $207 per person. Give us a call, space is limited. 800-862-8602.

Yippee! We have open water!


Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge

Yippee! We have open water!
Just in time for the Minnesota walleye opener, we now have open water from Young’s Bay to the lodge.  The mail came out by boat for the first day since November yesterday.  Check out the video on our Facebook page.

We expect fishing to be great in shallow. Jig and minnow should be all you need to reel in supper. Water temp is currently 52 degrees.  The weather forecast is looking good.

We still have ice to our south but the warm temps in the forecast, wind and rain should chew up the ice fairly quickly.

                                Remaining ice is looking more gray every day!

Lots of areas to fish this week and next week Ontario walleye season opens up on May 19. Openings still available Memorial Weekend and throughout the summer.

Give us a call 800-772-8411 or email us to start planning your getaway. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!

The sturgeon are biting!


Sportsman’s Lodge Rainy River

The sturgeon are biting! Check out what the Johnson Group reeled in with Captain Wes yesterday!
Bill reeled in a 60” and 52” and Vance,  a 50”. All fish were released.

We are warming up!
Slow but sure, the ice is melting. The Rainy River is completely open and there is open water just past the gap right now on the lake. We received a little shot of rain early this week but could use a good rain to soften more ice up, nonetheless there are over 40 miles of fishable river and bays right now and more warm weather in the forecast.  Current river temp is 47 degrees, the water level is low, not much debris but it is dirty, clearing more by the day. It should be cleared up nicely by walleye opener. Luckily, the sturgeon feed by smell in the dirty water so it doesn’t have much of effect on the sturgeon fishing going on now.  The current is average speed. For more information about the river or if you like to keep tabs on it, click here for water data. This data is measured right off our dock.

The Best Sturgeon bite has been in the deep river bottom holes. Two to four ounce no roll sinker, 4/0 or 5/0 circle hook tipped with a gob of night crawlers and a few shiners works well. Spring is prime time catching time.  Come enjoy the weather and reel in some monsters!

Did you know? Lake Sturgeon can live to be more than 100 years old and exceed more than 150 pounds!

Bays and creeks and the river are hot spots. Smelt lying on the bottom works well. Make sure to hook all the way through the body of the bait to keep it nice and secure.  Long shaft jigs work the best.

Walleye Opener is next weekend, May 12.
It has been a slow warm up this spring.  Predictions are the river and bays will be full of walleyes on opener.

Sturgeon – Keep one within size limits going on now,  April 24-May 7 and July 1 – Sept 30, catch and release Oct 1-April 23 and May 8-15
Northern Pike open year round
Walleye currently closed, reopening May 12

Our 12th Annual Sturgeon Tournament is this weekend
Stay tuned to our Facebook page Friday & Saturday for some great action. We will be posting leaderboard results and pictures. The tournament is currently full for this year, but there are still lots of fun that can be had watching the action.  The tournament runs 8:30am-4pm Friday and 8:30-3pm Saturday wrapping up with a banquet Saturday night.  All of the fishing takes place in front of the lodge. So, grab a chair and watch the excitement right from the bar and dock.  Join us!  Happy hour and dinner served in the Sandbar.

Come have some fun this spring. Spring Specials!
Lodging starting at only $43* per person per night now through May 23. Guided Sturgeon and pike trips going on now  and up to 20% off summer lodging and charter fishing packages May 11-23. Click here to start planning your trip.
*plus tax and based on double occupancy

Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge



We are starting to see more signs of spring and more warm weather in the forecast, finally!

Young’s Bay has opened up; there is open water in the channels amongst the islands, and quite a bit of open water on the north side of the island. Between the temps and the wind we expect see quite a few more areas opening up this week in time for opener.  The shallow bite should be hot!


Walleye Opener May 12
Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Crappie & Perch open all year
Sturgeon keep one within size limits April 24-May 7 and July 1 – Sept 30
Sturgeon catch and release Oct 1-April 23 and May 8-15
Muskie opens June 17

Walleye Opener May 19
Sturgeon closed
Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Crappie & Perch open all year
Muskie opens June 16

May Specials
May 11-25
Lodging starting at $62 per person per night and lodging and guided fishing packages starting at $381 per person.

*Plus tax and based on double occupancy.

It’s time to make spring, summer and fall reservations. Click here to learn more about Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge or give us a call 800-772-8411.

We have open water in front of the lodge and Wheeler’s Point landing is open!


Sportsman’s Lodge Rainy River
April 23, 2018

What a difference a few nice days make! All of the public boat landings are open on the river now. The current water temperature at our docks is 40 degrees. The water level is low. Birchdale will be closed April 24 for the day only. Wheeler’s, Timbermill, Vidas, Frontier and Birchdale are the landings near us. For a map, click here.

Sturgeon and pike fishing is going on now and walleye season opens back up May 12. Come get into some goooooood fishing and don’t forget to share or tag your pictures with us. We love to see and hear your fishing stories! You might even show up on our next fishing report.

Logan and Corey reeled in some nice sturgeon!

The bite should only heat up this week with many more fishing holes opening up. The weather forecast looks pretty great too!

Sturgeon are moving around in deep holes of the river bottom. Anchor up and rig your line with a few ounces of no roll sinkers, 4/0 or 5/0 hook tipped with a gob of minnows and shiner. Once one of these dinosaurs take a nibble, get ready for a heck of battle. The big sturgeon are known to wrestle for an hour or two.

Northern pike are another fun fish to target in the spring on Lake of the Woods. Lake of the Woods has an abundant trophy pike population. Whether you enjoy catch and release or keeping a few to bake or pickle, Lake of the Woods won’t disappoint. Shallow bays off the river and lake are great spots. Casting orange, red and flashy spinner baits with a slow retrieval works well in the spring along with a jigging presentation bouncing off the bottom with a spinner tipped with a shiner. Come have some fun! Guided trips available.

Fishing Seasons
Sturgeon catch and release now Oct 1-April 23 and May 8-15
Keep one within size limits April 24-May 7 and July 1 – Sept 30
Northern Pike open year round
Walleye currently closed, reopening May 12

Spring Specials!
Lodging starting at only $43* per person per night now through April 23 and up to 20% off Charter Fishing packages May 12-23.

Book your trip today. Click here or call 800-862-8602.

*Plus tax and based on double occupancy.