Fishing has been a pretty good week. Some days are better than others of course but overall pretty good. We have noticed a larger percent of walleyes compared to saugers for this time of year in a mix of sizes. Best depth hasn’t changed much lately, 16’-29’. Hot tackle has been good old gold and pink jigs but also plain hook and a bobber as well as glow in the dark jigs, buckshots, rattling charmers, gem-n-eyes and forage minnows tipped with a chub minnow. Guide Tip: If you are not finding success, change it up! Change up your approach; try different tackle and electronics help. A mix of jigging and dead sticking is the best approach to start out a day. Curious what dead sticking is? Click here to read more.
What a day for Christi, one of the Sportsman’s Staff! Caught this Sturgeon today! (1/10) Fishing with my dad. We had our limit of walleye by 9:15am before hooking into this bad boy. 58 incher on a plain red hook with a fat head. All before coming to work today! Whoo Hoooo!!
Check out these pics! We love to see your pictures! If you have pictures from a recent stay you would like to share with us, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org or text 218-395-0042. You might be featured in our next report!
Ice Conditions Currently we have 24-30 inches of ice in the areas we travel and fish and more in some areas where the ice built up during the freeze. Our ice fishing trips all include transportation to and from the fish house; we do not maintain a plowed road. If you venture out on your own, Adrian’s Resort and Morris Point Resort have public ice roads near us. Check with them for the latest conditions. Be sure to stay on marked roads and trails. The lake froze pretty rough this year and the entire lake never freezes equally so as always use caution and check local conditions before going out.
Snowmobile Trail Conditions
The trails are marked and grooming is in full swing. We received a few inches of snow last night. Windy day today but it sounds like it is going to start settling down later in the day. The lake froze pretty rough this year so we strongly encourage riders to stay on the trails, go slow and use caution. Lots of ice chunks sticking up off the trails. For more information about the trails click here or contact: Lake of the Woods Drifters and the Northwest Angle Edge Riders.
Football, Beer & Fishing….what else is there? Join us great fishing and the Big Game Feb 3-6! Reel in some fish, relax and join us for our big game party 14 TV’s, ½ price apps, drink specials, free apps 5-6pm, giveaways and more! Lodging and fishing packages available.Contact us today.
We have made some progress but based on the forecast for the week ahead, the progress will probably slow up. 3-7 inches of ice between Young’s Bay and Oak Island has been found but some bad areas yet. Not safe for traveling or fishing yet.
It is still early and we need to let Mother Nature do some more work before we venture out and start the season. Stay tuned for updates and get your reservations in. An average winter season runs mid December through late March in the islands.
We have found inconsistent ice conditions on the lake, 4-mile bay (the bay we use to get out to the lake) and Rainy River along with some open water spots. Based on the conditions and forecast for the week we won’t be starting the ice fishing season this week. It looks like colder temps are in store for next week. We will update you as soon as we make some progress! Safety first! It will be here soon!
Get your reservations in! An average ice fishing season starts between 8th and 15th of December and runs through late March. Lots of time to get into some good fishing!
This morning we are at 18 degrees with a feel like temperature of 7. We made some progress at the beginning of last week, then had a few warmer days but we are back to cooling down again. Several bays are frozen over, shore ice and some sheets of ice have formed on the main lake. Water temperature is just a hair above 33 degrees, ready to freeze! Based on the forecast and Mother Nature willing, at this point we are taking reservations to start ice fishing in our day houses at our Sportsman’s Lodge Rainy River location DECEMBER 1.
When we have 8-12 inches of safe ice and can get the houses and trail ready we will be off and running. Once we start, the sleeper houses and our Oak Island locations usually start about a week or so after. We are doing our ice dance! Ice fishing season will be here before we know it.
Water temperatures continue to climb, currently we are at 56 degrees and walleyes are beginning to get more aggressive. Jigs tipped with a minnow still are producing good numbers of quality fish. 20’ to 26’ seems to be the best depth to be in. Gold jigs continue to be the best color, but chartreuse and orange have put some good numbers in the boat as well!
Jigging isn’t the only tactic that has produced though! As those water temps keep getting warmer and warmer, drifting spinners will produce great walleyes. That time of year is vastly approaching and I am beginning to hear of a few fish being caught on spinners. If you do decide to experiment and try drifting, gold spinners from 12’ to 20’ is a great place to start! Leeches, crawlers, or minnows can all work on spinners, and especially this early any one of them could be the hot bait that day! The spinner bite will only get better through this next month of the season so don’t be afraid to try it! Good luck and we will see you out there!
Island fish was great to start the year off! The walleyes were snappin’ and we even heard of a few big ones being caught. Gold, pink, yellow, and orange jigs tipped with a minnow all seemed to work very well! Rocky points and shorelines were holding good numbers of fish. The fish are in feed mode so get up here and let’s go fishing!
Walleye season is finally here and we couldn’t be more excited! We had an awesome first weekend with boats pulling in a lot of nice fish! Fish are being caught all the way from 14’ to 23’. Do not be afraid to move around and look for fish! Jig tipped with a shiner seemed to be the best way to target them with the hot colors being Lake of the Woods classics, pink and gold. With temps remaining in the high 50s low 60s fishing is looking to stay good this week! Hope to see you out there!
What a tough day for Captain Mike. Trying to take a nice picture but cannot seem to keep people from catching fish in the background!
Captain Wes off to a hot start this year with a cooler of nice fish!
Many of you know Mike Vanstrom, a guide who has been with us in the fall and winter seasons for the past 3 years. When Mike is not at Sportsman’s, Mike can be found in the southwest region of Alaska.
Mike has a love for the outdoors and in the summer season guides outdoor enthusiasts brown bear and moose hunting and king salmon fishing 300 miles west of Anchorage, Alaska on the Nushagak River the world’s largest run of king salmon. You may have recently seen the 9′ bear that is in our lobby Mike guided a customer to bag recently. If you are looking for an Alaska adventure check out Mike’s website.
Temperatures are up and the fishing is heating up too! With water temps scratching 50 degrees, pike are in full swing and aggressive. Casting spoons and spinnerbaits in the tributaries and at any shallow weeds that may be beginning to grow is the best and most efficient way to target them. Sturgeon have begun to spawn and are stacking up in rapids and fast flowing shallow water. Best areas to target these monsters is to concentrate on deep holes adjacent to these spawning areas.
With the walleye season beginning this weekend, great places to begin the season is just outside the Lighthouse Gap, the north side of Pine Island and Four Mile Bay. A jig tipped with a shiner is always the best bet to kick the season off. As far as colors to start with, chartreuse, pink and gold are great choices!
Sturgeon fishing has been hot! 3 days left of the season until July. Get into the action!
Unreal! Two hours into these gals sturgeon careers they haul in a 68″ monster!
Last weekend we enjoyed some average spring weather but it has been a cool start to the week with some rain and snow showers. Looks like it should shape up for the weekend. The water temperature is currently 41 degrees. Despite the weather, anglers are finding some nice sturgeon and pike. Sturgeon anglers are finding them in several areas wherever a good hole in the river bottom can be found between Wheeler’s Point to Birchdale. Size 4/0 or 5/0 circle hooks and a 3-8 ounce no roll sinker tipped with a gob of crawlers and a frozen shiner has been working well. If you have trouble with the worms falling off, try a piece of a plastic grub at the end. Anchored at deep river holes or crevices with a little current are best. You can keep one sturgeon now within 45”-50” or over 75” through May 7 with a sturgeon tag (available at the lodge or anywhere MN fishing licenses are sold) and catch and release resumes May 8-15. Sturgeon are fun to catch and pretty tasty thrown in a smoker.
Captain Matt McClure 40 inch pike
Captain Travis Madrazo
Captain Travis Madrazo with a nice pike!
Northern Pike bite
Tributaries along the river and shallow bays are great places to find some huge pike right now. Anchored and casting out a jig tipped with a shiner and bouncing off the bottom or casting out a jointed rapala has been working well.
Reeling in sturgeon of all sizes. Captain Travis Campbell
11th Annual Sturgeon Tournament is May 5 & 6. The tournament is full this year but everyone is welcome to stop in and check out the action from our docks or in the bar. The tournament takes place right out in front of the lodge over a 1 mile stretch. Annually we see over 100 sturgeon caught over the two day tournament. Stop by for great fishing stories, food, drinks and entertainment Friday and Saturday evenings. The tournament runs from 8:30 to 4pm Friday and 8:30 to 3pm Saturday.
Walleye Opener is just around the corner May 13 is walleye opener. Lodging starting at $46 per person and up to 20% off summer lodging/charter fishing packages. Click here to choose your package. *plus tax and based on double occupancy
Get on the fish with a Guided Trip
Whether you are looking for sturgeon, pike or walleye we have trips available this spring. Contact us for more information 800-862-8602.
When you are fishing for walleye and you reel in a record breaking sturgeon!!
What an experience!
When three friends, Taylor Schroeder, Tyler Hill and Paul David from Virginia, MN area set out March 30, 2017 on the Rainy River to get into some walleyes, they had no idea what was going to be in store for the that day.
Check out Taylor’s story……Two friends and I set out to catch some walleyes last Thursday morning. We started the day with a nice 25″ fish, but then the fishing slowed, so we decided to move. We anchored in a new spot and soon after I hooked into a sturgeon. The sturgeon decided to bolt down river. I had to put a little pressure on my drag to make sure I had line left to fish with for the rest of the day. Of course, that resulted in my line breaking. I retied, and started fishing again.
Meanwhile, my friends, Tyler Hill and Paul David, started to catch some walleyes. I then felt weight again, so I set the hook, another sturgeon. This time, we pulled up anchor and went for a ride. Having only six pound test and a medium light rod, I didn’t know how long the fight would last. I assumed it would end with me tying on another jig. That was not the case! It ended up taking around an hour of boat work and drifting to eventually get the fish off the bottom. When we first saw the fish, it became clear we had a BIG one. After wrestling with it at boat side, we found it impossible to lift the fish out of the water by hand, so we grabbed some rope and lassoed the tail. It took two of us to get the fish up and into the boat. When the chaos was somewhat over, we looked at the fish and noticed that it had two of my jigs stuck in its mouth. It was the same sturgeon that broke me off half an hour earlier!
After a few pictures and a good measurement, which required all three of us to accomplish, we released the fish. It was about an hour later, when my curiosity caused me to look up the state record (catch & release). I couldn’t believe it when I saw the numbers. Our fish topped the current record by an inch and a half. Unfortunately, we lacked one of the pictures required for it to be considered as a state record fish. One picture away from a state record, will probably haunt me for a while but in reality, we were just fortunate to have experienced it. In the end, it’s a story of what could have been, but an amazing story nonetheless.
What a catch! 69 inch sturgeon caught on medium light rod, 6lb test, pink and white jig tipped with a rainbow minnow by Taylor Schroeder and assisted by Tyler Hill and Paul David.
Sturgeon season catch and release season is open on Lake of the Woods Oct 1 through April 23 and May 8-15. You can harvest one 45″-50″ inclusive or over 75″ May 8-15 and July 1-Sept 30 with a sturgeon tag purchased from the DNR.