Weather is cooling off and the jig bite is heating up!


High winds and rain have rolled over the northland this week.  Subsequently the water temps have continued to fall, going all the way from the mid-60s to the upper 50s and the fish are feeling it.  The jig bite has turned on in a big way.  Walleyes are moving into the gap.  Depending on the day, a solid jig bite can be found anywhere from 23’-32’.  Gold, orange, chartreuse, and pink have all been doing very well.  Shiners are the preferred jigging bait per usual this time of year!  Even the river has been starting to catch fire.  Fish in four mile bay and the rainy river have been being caught.  More in the morning and evenings than the middle of the day but it is a sign of good things to come, very soon.


Spinners are still going good as well.  Hammered gold spinners with a crawler will be your best bet.  You can catch them out deep this way but your best luck will be in shallow.  8’-12’ and stay moving.  Just because the water is cooling doesn’t mean the walleyes won’t still chase.


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Big Fish Fall


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.

40 inch Pike Courtney Carlson

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.

Joe Henry, smallmouth bass

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 Swimming

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!

Deep Waters


A good walleye bite has been going on in 27’-36’.  Fish are beginning to move off of the points and move to their fall spots.  Jig and a minnow has been a good way to target these walleyes right now.  All the usual colors mainly coming back to pink and gold.  A few good days have been had spinner fishing too so don’t be afraid to try something new if the bite is slow.  Good luck!


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Fall is Here!


Water temperatures are still going down, dipping all the way to the mid to low 60s.  Looking at the weather approaching that trend should continue.  Fish are feeling the change and are beginning to move back toward the gap and the river.  Shiners are starting to push into the river.  A solid jig bite out in 30’-32’ is been forming over the last few days and that should only get better.  Gold, chartreuse and pink jig tipped with a shiner have been producing well.


Spinner fishing can put fish in the coolers too.  Hammered gold spinners with a crawler or minnow will get walleyes to bite.  This can be effective out in 28’-30’ but 20’-24’ has been producing better for this style of fishing.  Make sure you maintain at least .7 mph to keep those spinners moving!

The trolling bite out in 32’ is still producing so get it while you can because this bite typically starts to dwindle.  Also be looking for fish to be push hard into the river if that temp keeps dropping and that river bite that we all love to turn on.


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Starting to Feel Like Fall!


With cool temperatures moving in it may feel like the island life is over but that could not be farther from the truth!  The islands are hot right now.  Drifting spinners on rocky structures and drop-offs are good places to start.  Walleyes can be found on all types of structures and depths.  They will be moving off of the mid-lake structures and back to the shores and classic fall areas.  Be looking for these fish making this move! Good Luck!


Cooling Down


Wind and rain have been rolling over the big pond for the last week but it hasn’t slowed the fishing at all! If anything the fishing has gotten better!  Typical fall walleye patterns are forming.  Walleyes are starting to move back toward the gap and the river. The deep water basin trolling bite continues to be very good.  33’ or deeper, the schools are scattered all throughout the big lake.

The spinner bite continues to be great.  You can’t go wrong with a hammered gold spinner tipped with a crawler.  Walleyes are starting to move back to structure. Drifting or trolling on top or adjacent to rock structure is a good way to target walleyes.

The jig bite is still good out in 30’-32’ but is spotty at times.  Be looking for this bite to pick up in the next few weeks as the temperatures continue drop.  This bite will start to ramp up out deep and move shallower as we get closer to October.


 The bite is on!


Guide Eric Best’s crew enjoyed some goooood fishing recently. Eric and the guides are ready to take you out this fall. Give us a call 800-862-8602 or email for rates and availability.

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Fish are biting up here!


With the cooling temperatures this fish have really starting eating on the reefs.  Rock points will hold good numbers of walleyes as well.  Jigging the drop offs or drifting spinners will get fish on these reefs.  15’-25- has been good for these fish!  Muskies continue to munch all day long so get up with a guide and be ready! Good Luck!
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Fall is around the corner


With water temps dipping into the high 60s this week fish have ramped up.  Rain and wind in the last week are putting walleyes onto structures.  15’-20’ on rocks or transition areas have been good.  The 28’-32’ is still holding good numbers of walleyes too.  Hammered gold spinners with a crawler will produce more bites than anything else.  Chartreuse and pink spinners have been bringing in walleyes as well.  The trolling bite out in “ no man’s land” has been bringing good sized walleyes in.   34’ with a various colored plug.  Come in and chat with a guide to figure out the specific spot to be out there!

The guides are on the fish! Check out some of the latest activity


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Walleyes Are Holding Deep


The walleyes are snapping in the islands. Walleyes are holding to deeper rock structures. Drifting spinners over the tops of these rocks or jigging down the edges will produce walleyes.

The muskies are really ramping up as we head into the later parts of August. Fast moving buck tails and twitch baits have been looking good to these tooth giants as of late! Good luck and we will see you out there!


Late Summer Action


Fishing continues to be very good on the Big Pond. Walleyes are still being brought in a variety of different ways per usual! The jig bite has slowed but has not quit. Look very deep if you are going the jigging route. 32’ at a minimum! Tip with a leech or minnow for the best success.

The spinner bite has continues to be good. Hammered gold spinners in 28’-32’. Drifting or trolling at .7 – 1.2 mph has been the best speed. Make sure those spinners are moving!

The deep water trolling bite has been very good out in 34’. Just keep moving to find those schools of fish. Also, use your electronics to find these schools as well. If you aren’t marking fish, do not be afraid to move on and try another spot. Just because fish are there one day doesn’t mean they will stick around! Be mobile!

As far as other species of fish, Smallmouth and Sturgeon fishing has been good. If it is smallmouth you are targeting, look for boulders and rocks. In the river, current breaks can be great spots to look for smallmouth. Drop shotting is a great way to target the deeper water rocks and boulders. To cover water, spinnerbaits and rapalas just casting and retrieving will be your best bet.

Sturgeon have been eating too. Look for the deepest holes in the river. Spend your time in these areas. Try several spots in these areas before leaving. Sturgeon may be using that structure but just not that spot specifically. Before putting miles on, try moving just above the hole or adjacent to it.

Summer’s Last Blast
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