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.
Two night lodging and fishing packages starting at just $215 per person. Can’t make it in February? Sportsman’s gift cards make great gifts! Click here to order yours.
Come see us! 800-862-8602 or firstname.lastname@example.org
*plus tax and based on double occupancy.
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.
The ice is melting! Give us a call to make your spring, summer, fall and next winter’s reservations.
Spring specials available May 12-25. Lodging starting at $60 per person per night and 10% off packages.
800-772-8411 or click here
Six landings now open! Wheelers, Timebermill ( Baudette), Vidas, Frontier, Birchdale and Pelland. We have water at our docks and the forecast looks warm for the week, perfect for spring fishing! Lodging and guided trips available now. Dock slips and boat rental available within a few days as soon as the shore ice is gone from the docks. Click here for a Rainy River boat landing map.
The bite has been great! Check out the pics of the week!
Water temperature has been hovering between 36-38 degrees the past few days. Clarity is an excellent 4’-6’. Drifting with current in 12’-22’ using pink and gold ½-3/4 oz. jigs has been working well tipped with a rainbow or shiner minnow. Anglers are reeling in lots of nice walleyes (50-100 fish days) 14”-30”+ and some lunker sturgeon. Sturgeon anglers have been anchored in or near river bed holes using 1-2 oz. no roll sinker, size 5 hook and a gob of minnows.
Open season dates Walleye now through April 14, reopening May 13
Pike season open all year. With more bays opening up the soft water bite is really going to get good. Ice anglers the past few weeks have been killing it!
Sturgeon catch and release open now through April 23, keep one within size limits season is April 24-May 7 and catch and release again May 8-15 before the season closes for a short time May
$99 Lodge Rooms & 20% off cabins/villas now through the end of March.
Lodging starting at $42 per person per night April 1 –May 24 and up to 20% off lodging/charter packages May 12-May 24. Click here to book now or give us a call 800-862-8602!
*plus tax and based on double occupancy
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.
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