Making ice for March ice fishing Cold temperatures have once again blown in this week. The good news is we are making more ice to allow ice fishing to run right through the end of March. Lake of the Woods has a unique season most other lakes in Minnesota do not have, an extended walleye season through April 14 and due to it’s location a much better chance at cold temps to keep good ice right until March 31. The DNR also allows anglers to have houses on the lake overnight through March 31. We have both weekends and midweek trips available in March. Make your spring break ice fishing plans today.
The bite this week has been a finicky this week. Some anglers doing better than others in varied shallow and deep depths 16’-30’. Warm temps coming in this weekend should help. Successful anglers have been using a light jigging technique using pink and glow jigs or a plain hook tipped with a minnow. Sometimes a minnow head has been successful too. Vexilars and Fish Finders of your choice help. Anglers have been seeing lots of fish on electronics. Mix of varied sized walleye and sauger mainly with a few big pike, sturgeon and a guest this past week even caught a crappie, not something we usually see in our area in the winter.
We have 32-36 inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel at this time.
Snuggle up with our sweetie this Valentine’s Day at Sportsman’s!
Lodging & Fishing Packages starting at $215 per person and two nights of dining specials Feb 14 & 15.
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Snow, ice….is ice fishing going to start early this year?
It has been a cool and snowy weekend here at Lake of the Woods. Cool temps have made the water temperature plummet and ice to start to form in bays. Saturday, 8-12 inches of snow fell, sure looks like December around here! Not enough ice had formed prior to getting the snow so no problems there. A few anglers are still out in boats and blaze orange is the color of choice for clothes around here this week. Hunters are out and about. Check back often for ice updates! If this keeps up, it could be an early start to the ice fishing season!
Fishing continues to be good. Anchored up, jigging using shiners in the Rainy River and Four Mile Bay/Light House Gap has produced some nice walleyes in 6’-26’ water. The DNR reports that the fish population looks good. We are looking forward to a good ice fishing season. The early season walleye bite usually starts out aggressive. Times to make winter reservations, weekends are starting to fill up!
Everyone thinks of different things when they feel those first cool September winds. Some people think of walking trails, some people think of the leaves changing colors but for the people of Lake of the Woods it means one thing, big walleyes and a lot of them. Those water temperatures start dropping and the walleyes go into feed mode. There are many ways you can target these pigs but here are a few of the best ways.
As we know, the reason that so many walleyes flood the rainy river area in the fall is the emerald shiner run. Walleyes are putting on the pounds for winter. A lot of anglers target walleyes with just a jig and shiner. This can be very productive and is a simply an easy way to catch not only big walleyes but a lot of fish. The best place to look for these fish is outside the gap or in the river. As far as outside the gap will be holding to a certain depth. The farther we move through September and into October that depth will get shallower. In the river, walleyes will be holding to places where the current breaks or inlets, any place where shiners are going to hold. Jigging in these areas can be and will be very productive.
Another strategy that has been getting the attention of not only many anglers but big walleyes as well is trolling plugs and stick baits. Trolling off of Pine Island can be very good. Long lining shad raps can be very good at times but a good way to troll at all depths is to have a 3oz weight and about a 5 to 6 foot snell followed by a stick bait. It is much easier to control your depths this way. As far as the river, trolling the first breaklines into the current has proved to produce big walleyes.
The fall isn’t just good for big walleyes tho! Big pike, sturgeon, and smallmouth are also packing on the pounds before winter. Pike will be holding to current breaks in the river. Casting spoons and blade baits in these areas will attract these toothy beasts out of hiding. Also, laying dead bait on the bottom, such as smelt or a sucker can be a good way to get these fish to bite later in the year as they get more lethargic.
Smallmouth will be holding to rocky structures and can be caught while actually walleye fishing. Unlike walleyes and pike, smallmouth will be in the current. Rocks and gravel areas in the current should hold good numbers of smallmouth. Soft plastic baits will produce good fish. Later in the year, live bait may work better than soft plastic.
Sturgeon have been getting more and more popular as the years go on up in the rainy river. Fish over 70 inches are not out of the realm of possibly these days. And in the fall they are feeding hard before the winter. Concentrate on areas around deep holes in the river.
This doesn’t always mean directly in the bottom of the hole. Sometimes just upriver or adjacent to the hole is where this dinos can be lurking. So before ditching a location completely try a couple different spots on the same spot!
To be fair, if you are looking for a place in the Midwest for big fall walleyes, Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River is one of the best if not THE best place to go. So get up here and hold on tight!
The river is open shore to shore 4 miles west of Baudette and a channel of water is open all the way to our docks. Timbermill landing is now wide open along with Vidas, Frontier, Birchdale and Pelland landings. Wheeler’s Point should be open in a few days.
Timbermill landing in Baudette is now open!
Captain Wes and his crew caught some nice fish this weekend
Wheelers Point landing should be open in a few days
A few of the guides, Eric R. Best, Travis MadrazoJean-Paul Tessier, Shane Burk & Baihly Hontvet went out yesterday on the river and reeled in some nice fish! Check it out! Guided trips available! Walleye season open through April 14, pike open year round and sturgeon catch/release now through April 23, keep 1 season April 24-May 7 and catch/release again May 8-15. Click here or call 800-862-8602 to book your trip!
The river is open within 6 miles of the lodge. This is a pic of Timbermill landing in Baudette. A few more feet of shore ice to go and 5 ramps will be open. (Pelland, Birchdale, Frontier and Vidas all open now) We should have water at our docks by tomorrow!! Many more fishing spots opening up by the hour. Come join in the fun!
Frontier and Vidas landings now open to all boats! The Rainy River is open within 5 miles east of Baudette and open water spots within 3 miles of Baudette. Vidas, Frontier, Birchdale and Pelland landings are all open to all boats. Timbermill should open up in a day or so and Wheeler’s Point next. River has opened up 15 miles since Sunday. 16 miles left until it hits our docks! Won’t be long!
The river opened up to 1/2 mile west of Clementson (6 miles east of Baudette) now. Frontier landing has 25 feet of shore ice and Vidas (2 miles east of Clementson) has about 50 feet shore ice.
Birchdale and Pelland landings are wide open.