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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We had another excellent trip up at Oak Island on Jan. 25-28, 2018. Wack and all the guys took great care of us, getting on the fish and cleaning them for us. We sure appreciate their hard work. The meals at the Lodge were fabulous as always.
Each of us caught some nice note-worthy fish.
Group: Kusilek Name: Mike DeMarce Fish: 22.5” Walleye Date: 1/27/2018
Group: Kusilek Name: Mark Stenseth Fish: 20” Walleye Date: 1/27/2018
Group: Kusilek Name: Chad Young Fish: 18.5” Walleye Date: 1/27/2018
Group: Kusilek Name: John Balk Fish: 13.5” Perch Date: 1/26/2018
Group: Kusilek Name: Jim Kusilek Fish: 13” Perch Date: 1/26/2018
We hope to make it back up again next year, and look forward to seeing you all then.
Targeting walleyes and saugers is always our #1 priority in the winter, but Lake of the Woods is an incredible fishery and you just never know what might be looking for something to munch on. Lake of the Woods is home to not only walleyes and saugers but also northern pike, lake sturgeon, tullibee, perch, eelpout, muskie, bass, lake trout and crappies. Check out some of the pictures from the past week and two monster sturgeons! It is quite a rush to see a 45+ inch fish come through an ice fishing hole!
Bite The weather continues to be mild and it looks like it will continue for at least through the weekend at this point. The bite has been fair the past week. Anglers have been having the most success jigging and dead sticking glow and gold colored jigs, small rippin raps, glo-shots and forage minnows tipped with a minnow. 8am-11am and 2pm-4pm have been some of the best times in a range of depths 16’-29’. The best depth has really been changing frequently. The guides are always moving houses and doing their best to stay on the best bite. If you have electronics, bring them along. We consistently see a lot of success with folks who use them. If you don’t have your own, give us a call ahead of time, we have a few vexilars available to rent.
We have a good base of ice of over two feet, 28-32 inches in the areas we fish and travel. Looking good for March ice fishing! Remember walleye season is open through April 14 on Lake of the Woods and we plan to keep our houses out until the end of March.
Snuggle up with your Sweetie in February at Sportsman’s.
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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.
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!
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.