It looks like the brief winter warm up is finally going to end after today and boy are we excited! Enough of the warm weather, what was Mother Nature thinking we still have a month of ice fishing left! LOL!
Currently we have 23-27 inches of ice in the areas we travel and fish. We have made some changes to where we are accessing the lake and have been playing in some sloppy conditions the past few days but other than that we are still fishing, checking ice often keeping safety #1 and looking at the forecast we plan to keep fishing until late March.
If you are looking to venture out on your own we can’t stress enough to please work through resorts and outfitters. Check conditions before going out and stay on the trail. The conditions are not the same over the entire lake and now with very little snow left on the lake many people may think they can go anywhere. That is not the case. That is not the case even in the coldest of winters and the winters when we have 4’ of ice. On a good note once we start to cool down we should build ice quicker without the snow. So stay safe and come join us for some great late season fishing!
Gold and pink spoons jigging or dead sticking with a plain hook tipped with a minnow has been working the best in 26-32’. Overall some anglers doing better than others depending on the day, hour, weather, depth, approach and mother nature. Electronics users seem to do better than those without. Still seeing some suspended fish in various depths from a foot off bottom to 15 feet. Bite has been mainly made up of walleyes and saugers for the pan or throwback with an occasional slot walleye (19.5”-28”) or larger. Best tip is to try some different techniques and talk with your guide for the best approach for the day. March usually considered an active month for fishing. Come visit us!
Check out what some of the guests have been reeling in this week!
Due to the warm weather we recently been having most of our snow has melted. Trails are marked and groomers will fire back up as soon we get another shot of snow!
Walleye and sauger bite has been good! Houses are staggered off a nice quiet groomed trail about a 30 minute ride out on Big Traverse Bay. Anglers are reeling in a variety of sizes using gold, pink and orange macho minnows, plain hooks, buck shots, spoons and jigs. Tackle is tipped with a minnow or minnow head in 24’-33’ of water. Lots of suspended fish are being seen on electronics so if you have one, we encourage you to bring it along or call ahead to rent. We consistently see the catch rate of anglers who use them increase significantly.
Guests are reeling in some nice fish this week!
Ice Conditions Currently we have 23-27 inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel. We run a groomed trail to our houses. It looks like we are going to warm up during the day this week. Lows are still below freezing so we shouldn’t see any ice loss just some snow. If you are looking to venture out on your own, Adrian’s road at Wheeler’s Point is recommended.
Glow jigs, plain hooks tipped with a minnow and Vexilars, Marcums or whatever fish flasher flavor you like are the hot tips this week. Anglers using these tactics in 23’-33’ of water along with a mix of jigging and dead sticking realized an increase in their catch rate. Many reports of nice walleyes and saugers being found all over the water column 4-6 inches, 2’, sometimes 8’-10’ off bottom. If you don’t have a flasher and would like to give one a try, we have a few for rent. They do go fast so it is a good idea to call ahead to reserve. Travel time to the fish houses is about 30 minutes. The guides are moving houses daily to stay on the best bite. What are you waiting for? Come get your fish on. Ice fishing trips available through late March!
Look what the Swenson Group reeled in!
Ice Conditions We have 22”-25” of ice in the areas we travel and fish right now.
The best success reeling in some nice fish this week has been a combination of dead sticking and jigging using plain hooks, the good old Lake of the Wood’s favorite the gold jig and small spoons with some shine to them to really catch the eye of the fish, tipped with a minnow. Typical this time of year, it has been a strong sauger bite 13”-17”, along with some nice walleyes 14”-30”, few perch, eelpout and sturgeon. The afternoon bite has been favoring the morning. Vexilars really help the catch rate. Be sure to bring one along or call ahead to rent. If something isn’t working try a new lure, try jigging, really smacking the bottom instead dead sticking, utilize a vexilar or ask the guides for tips, they are always happy to help. Just a small change can really bring in great results! Varied depths between 22’-32’ have been good outside of Pine Island. The guides are working hard moving houses to stay on the best bite and get you the best experience possible. Currently the ride out to the fish houses is about 25-30 minutes.
Eric reeled in a nice 27 inch walleye
Look at these fish!
Currently we have 20-24 inches of ice in the areas we travel and fish. The thermometer is dipping below zero this week. Great weather for making ice to keep you fishing until March 31!
Trail Report Area lake and land trails are being groomed weekly. For more information click here for the Baudette area or here for the NW Angle & Islands.
Ice Fishing trips available through the end of March
On Lake of the Woods we can have our fish houses out until March 31. Packages still available starting at $191* per person. We have midweek stays open in February and weekend and midweek stays open in March. Book your trip today! *plus tax and based on double occupancy
Spring, Summer, Fall
It is never too early to start planning your spring, summer or fall trip. Get the gang together and contact us today. Click here to learn more about our packages.
It has been a strong bite overall this week at Sportsman’s Lodge. Lots of nice walleyes and saugers coming through the ice holes as well as a few northern pike, jumbo perch and eelpout. Successful anglers have found that vexilars definitely increase your catch rate, jigging a small spoon, just a plain hook or a 3/8 oz. gold jig tipped with a minnow is working well. The best bite has been in varying depths between 19’-31’ in the mud.
Joe Hraban 27.25 inch walleye caught 1-24-2017. Sportsman’s Sleepers
Michael Cline one of our guides was out fishing on his day off and reeled in a nice 25 inch walleye on a charmer.
Michael Cline tackle 25 inch walleye
Poor Man’s Lobster! Krista Kappes,Thunder Seed group reeled in this huge eelpout on a bright green and yellow chartreuse lure
Kaylee Bjorklund reeled in this nice 29.5 inch walleye this week on a gold jig. Nice fish Kaylee!
Currently we have 20-24 inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel. We run a groomed trail to get to our houses. We received 4-5 days of highs in the mid to upper thirties last week but the weather has since cooled down and we are back to making more ice. Over the warm days we experienced a lot of slush but we did not lose any ice. If you are looking to go out on your own, Adrian’s road is a good choice located at the Wheeler’s Point/Four Mile Bay area off Hwy 172. They are allowing up to 1 ton trucks and wheel houses up to 28’.
Area lake and land trails are being groomed weekly. For more information click here for the Baudette area or here for the NW Angle & Islands.
Need a Vexilar?
They are available for rent at the lodge. Call ahead to reserve 800-862-8602.
Ice Fishing trips available through the end of March On Lake of the Woods we can have our fish houses out until March 31. Fishing and lodging packages still available starting at $191* per person. We have midweek stays open in February and weekend and midweek stays open in March. Book your trip today! *plus tax and based on double occupancy
Fish in the Bucket! A steady bite of walleyes and saugers this week. Anglers are reeling in a mix of walleyes and saugers. Real nice 14”-18” and a few 24”+ walleyes along with a steady bite of small walleyes and saugers. Pink and gold jigs, plain hook with a little weight, blade and rattle spoons tipped with a minnow or just a minnow head has been working the best in 20’-31’. If you get into a finicky bite try downsizing your lure. Another tip is to try dead sticking with one rod and jigging with the other. The one you use to jig with really pound the bottom stirring it up and jig up 4-8 inches. Some anglers have even had success jigging upwards of 2’ off bottom to draw attention to your bait. Flashers are a good idea to bring along or rent. They tend to really help your catch rate. Vexilars and Marcum’s are good choices. We rent Vexilars at the lodge; give us a call ahead of time to reserve if you would like to try one.
A nice eye!
Missy reeled in a nice walleye on a pink jig and minnow!
A fun way to spend a day with no school!
Thanks John and Kate for visiting us!
Ice Conditions Currently we have 20”-22”of ice in the areas we fish and travel. We travel on a groomed trail. If you are venturing out on your own, Adrian’s Road out of Wheeler’s Point is a good one to access the lake. They are now allowing out all size trucks and wheel houses up to 28’.
Short on time? Take a quick trip!
One night/one day trips available including lodging, ready to go fish house, transportation to and from the fish house, use of jig sticks, jigs bait and fish cleaning starting at only $144* per person. Available: Jan 22, 26, 29-Feb 2, 5-9, 12 & 22. One day fishing only trips $115* per person. Available: Jan 22, 23, 26, 27, 29-Feb 2, 5-10. Click here to reserve or call 800-862-8602.
*plus tax and based on double occupancy.
Bouncing off Bottom
Guides report it has been a good bite for the 11”-17” walleyes and saugers this week. A few big walleyes and another large eelpout were reeled in too. Varying depths between 19’-26’ jigging Rapala slab raps, gold and pink jigs, silver blade spoons and flutter spoons have been working well. Dead sticking a rock and roll jig or a red has also proved to be successful. Anglers found that bouncing off the bottom to churn up some lake bottom to get the attention of the fish at least 4-6 inches and sometimes even up to 2’ was a successful approach. Chub or shiner minnows are the live bait of choice.
Another big eelpout! The Albiston Group a group of 4 gals reeled in this 12lb and 30 inch eelpout while fishing in the Sportsman’s Sleepers. What a fish!
Doug Loos caught this 25.5 in walleye just over 7lb on a Gold Rapala Slab Rap guided by Troy. Doug and his son Dan caught over 90 fish on their recent trip to Sportsman’s!
What a nice walleye!
17-20 inches of ice on the lake in the areas we fish and travel right now. The bombardiers are ready to bring you out fishing!
Adrian’s Ice Road
If you are planning to go out on your own, Adrian’s ice road out of Four Mile Bay near Wheeler’s Point 12 miles north of Baudette is a good option. As of Jan 1, they were allowing ½ ton trucks pulling up to 17’ wheel house and smaller vehicles pulling up to 21’ houses. ¾ ton and 1 ton trucks can drive out not pulling houses.
We have 15”-20” of really nice snow in the area. The lake trails are in good shape and being maintained weekly. As soon as we get more ice the heavier groomers will be out. The trails are staked across the lake with black stakes from Baudette to Oak Island and Wheeler’s Point to Warroad. Come enjoy our over 100 miles of lake trails and 500 miles of land trails! For area land trail information click here to contact the Lake of the Woods Drifters Snowmobile Club.
Short on time? Take a quick trip!
One night/one day trips available including lodging, ready to go fish house, transportation to and from the fish house, use of jig sticks, jigs bait and fish cleaning starting at only $144* per person. One day fishing only trips $115* per person. Available: Jan 12, 18, 19, 22, 26, 29, Feb 1, 8,12,16,19 & 22.
*plus tax and based on double occupancy.
Good ol’ Mother Nature decided we needed more snow so she threw down 12 inches the past few days J. The guides have the bombardiers out in full force getting guests to the fish houses, moving houses and chasing down the best bite. We aren’t slowing down…..just another day in the north land. Come see us!
The latest bite
What a great start to the year! 14lb walleye, a few 50”+ sturgeons, 19.67 lb. eelpout and many other nice fish caught.
We are seeing many nice pails of walleyes and saugers and a few nice 25”+ walleyes this week. Jigging pink, gold or red glow 1/8-3/8 oz. jigs tipped with a minnow head or full minnow has worked well. Some anglers are finding the smaller jig and minnow head is working best to entice the fish and set the hook with better success. The bite is on the move deeper, 18’-29’now. Check out some of the pictures.
Current ice conditions are 17-20 inches in the areas we travel and fish. We run a private groomed trail. If you looking to venture out on your own, check out Adrian’s Road report below.
Adrian’s Road Four Mile Bay near Wheeler’s Point Access
As of January 1, ½ ton trucks pulling up to 17’ wheel houses and smaller vehicles pulling up to 21’ wheel houses are allowed out. ¾ ton and 1 ton trucks can drive out but cannot pull a wheel house.
Lake trails are marked from Baudette on the Rainy River all the way around Wheeler’s Point to Lake of the Woods and 40 miles north across the lake to Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge. The trails are also marked from Wheeler’s Point to Warroad. The crew is dragging the trails now and as soon as we get a few more inches of ice they will start grooming. This new snow has really improved trail conditions. The land trails are being groomed often. For more information about the land trails check out the Lake of the Woods Drifters Snowmobile Club.
Anglers have been reeling in a few lake sturgeons lately. Most sturgeon have been caught on a jig and minnow while targeting walleyes however this has raised several questions I thought I would take the time to address. Can I target sturgeon now? Can I use the same large hook, sinker and worm method as I do in the spring? Does Sportsman’s have fish houses available that target sturgeon? Yes, you can target sturgeon anytime July 1-May 15. The season to keep one is April 24-May 7 and July 1 – Sept 30. The rest of the season is open to catch and release. The only time you cannot target sturgeon is when the season is closed May 16-June 30. Yes, you can use the same method to catch sturgeon in the winter as you do in the summer using a large 4/0 or 5/0 hook, no roll sinker and a gob of minnows however worms can be hard to come by this time of year so many people use shiners. Sportsman’s does not have houses that we use to primarily target sturgeon but as we know the sturgeons are out in our fishing areas and it is not that uncommon to sIf you are looking for a soft water trip to target these prehistoric dinosaurs, our guides would love to take you out. Click here for more information.