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!
Four Mile Bay 11-6-2017 Lake of the Woods, MN
Winter Road River MN
Wheeler’s Point Landing 11-5-2017
Sportsman’s Lodge 11-5-2017
8-12 Inches of Snow Baudette, MN 11-4-2017
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!
Wheeler’s Point landing is now open!
Wheeler’s Point landing is just a mile away from the lodge.
Many great fishing opportunities opening daily!
Check out the view from the lodge 3-27-2017
Walleye season open through April 14, reopening May 13
Pike season open all year
Sturgeon season catch and release now through April 23, keep one (within size limit)
April 24-May 7 and catch and release again May 8-15 before closing for 6 weeks.
Channel open at the lodge!
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 Madrazo Jean-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!
Sportsman’s Lodge Rainy River
$99 Lodge Rooms & 20% off Cabins & Villas
Now through March 31
Lodging starting at only $42 per person per night
April 1- May 24
Up to 20% off Summer lodging & charter fishing packages
Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge
Lodging starting at only $60 per person per night
& 10% off packages
*All specials valid in 2017. Rates are plus tax and based on double occupancy.
Rainy River Update!
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!
Lots of good fishing reports coming in! Jigging with gold jigs, rainbows or shiners. Tag us in your photos. We would love to share them!
Click here for an access map http://sportsmanslodges.com/…/7…/Rainy_River_Access_Map1.pdf
$99 Lodge rooms and 20% off cabins/villas this weekend. 20th Annual Mardi Gras Party is Saturday! Join us! 800-862-8602
For more information and reports like us on Facebook!
Vidas Landing on the Rainy River 3-22-2017
Frontier Landing Rainy River 3-23-2017
The Rainy River is opening up quick!
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.
Birchdale Landing 3-20-17
Frontier Landing 3-21-2017
$99 lodge room special and 20% off villas and cabins. Guided trips available! It’s spring fishing time!
Our 20th Annual Mardi Gras Party Saturday! 800-862-8602 www.sportsmanslodges.com
Tomorrow will be the last day that we will have fish houses out. Thank you for another great ice fishing season! Some ice roads will remain open in the area for awhile longer. Check with local outfitters for current conditions.
We are excited to start the spring season. The evening Riverside Dining room’s last day until summer will be tomorrow but the Sandbar and the Dockside Dining Room will remain open through spring. Spring lodging specials start tomorrow and we will start posting river updates on Monday! Walleye season is open until April 14, pike season never closes and sturgeon season catch and release is now through April 23. Sturgeon season is open April 24-May 7 and catch and release again May 8-15. Lots of good fishing going on this spring!