The sturgeon are biting! Check out what the Johnson Group reeled in with Captain Wes yesterday!
Bill reeled in a 60” and 52” and Vance, a 50”. All fish were released.
We are warming up! Slow but sure, the ice is melting. The Rainy River is completely open and there is open water just past the gap right now on the lake. We received a little shot of rain early this week but could use a good rain to soften more ice up, nonetheless there are over 40 miles of fishable river and bays right now and more warm weather in the forecast. Current river temp is 47 degrees, the water level is low, not much debris but it is dirty, clearing more by the day. It should be cleared up nicely by walleye opener. Luckily, the sturgeon feed by smell in the dirty water so it doesn’t have much of effect on the sturgeon fishing going on now. The current is average speed. For more information about the river or if you like to keep tabs on it, click here for water data. This data is measured right off our dock.
The Best Sturgeon bite has been in the deep river bottom holes. Two to four ounce no roll sinker, 4/0 or 5/0 circle hook tipped with a gob of night crawlers and a few shiners works well. Spring is prime time catching time. Come enjoy the weather and reel in some monsters!
Wendy Carlson reeled in a lunker! 54″ Sturgeon. Guided by Captain Wes Harder.
Come get into the action!
Did you know? Lake Sturgeon can live to be more than 100 years old and exceed more than 150 pounds!
Bays and creeks and the river are hot spots. Smelt lying on the bottom works well. Make sure to hook all the way through the body of the bait to keep it nice and secure. Long shaft jigs work the best.
Walleye Opener is next weekend, May 12.
It has been a slow warm up this spring. Predictions are the river and bays will be full of walleyes on opener.
Sturgeon – Keep one within size limits going on now, April 24-May 7 and July 1 – Sept 30, catch and release Oct 1-April 23 and May 8-15
Northern Pike open year round
Walleye currently closed, reopening May 12
Our 12th Annual Sturgeon Tournament is this weekend
Stay tuned to our Facebook page Friday & Saturday for some great action. We will be posting leaderboard results and pictures. The tournament is currently full for this year, but there are still lots of fun that can be had watching the action. The tournament runs 8:30am-4pm Friday and 8:30-3pm Saturday wrapping up with a banquet Saturday night. All of the fishing takes place in front of the lodge. So, grab a chair and watch the excitement right from the bar and dock. Join us! Happy hour and dinner served in the Sandbar.
Come have some fun this spring. Spring Specials!
Lodging starting at only $43* per person per night now through May 23. Guided Sturgeon and pike trips going on now and up to 20% off summer lodging and charter fishing packages May 11-23. Click here to start planning your trip.
*plus tax and based on double occupancy
This morning, April 10, from Frontier and Birchdale Landings:
Yesterday afternoon, April 9, from Frontier and Birchdale Landings:
The river is open up to a few miles west of Frontier landing as of today. Approximately 15 miles west of Baudette. Weather forecast although not nearly as warm as last year at this time, is warming up. We will be doing another update Thursday. Stay tuned!
The River Bite
Some getting into a great bite with reports of 50+ fish in a few hours most ranging from 19″-30″ walleyes and 30″+ sturgeon to others struggling to get a dozen. Water is cool hovering around 33-35 degrees and the current is still slow. Walleyes – Gold, pink and orange jigs and plastics have been tackle of choice and shiners. Mix of vertical jigging vs dragging bottom depending on day. Some having the best luck drifting and others anchored. Sturgeon – Gob of worms, on a 4/0 or 5/0 hook and few ounces of no roll sinkers. An added shiner works sometimes too. Sturgeon are being found in deep holes and at the incline of holes along the river.
Walleye open through April 14, reopening May 12
Northern Pike open year round
Sturgeon catch and release open through April 23
Keep one within size limits April 24-May 7 and July 1 – Sept 30
Catch & release May 8-15 & Oct 1 – April 23
Due to the cool spring, we still have lots of ice on the lake. Extensions are still needed. We don’t have any houses out but if you are interested in venturing out on your own, Morris Point road is open to ATV’s and snowmobiles. For the most to up to date conditions they can be contacted at 218-634-2570.
Join us this spring! Openings available this weekend and throughout the spring. Lodging starting at $43* per person per night and guided trips available. Charter fishing packages up to 20% off May 11-23. Click here to learn more: www.sportsmanslodges.com/spring
What a crazy spring so far. We have gone from two of the warmest spring season’s to now one of the coldest. I guess that is Mother Nature for you, unpredictable. We are going to head out this afternoon and tomorrow morning and snap some pictures of what the river looks like and how far it is open to share with you tomorrow morning. We also will post another update Thursday afternoon too.
Over the weekend, the morning bite on the river was a struggle. Temps dipped down causing some of the accesses to freeze up and then thawing late morning/early afternoon. Some anglers went ice fishing on the lake for morning and headed to the river for the afternoon/evening soft water bite. Still lots of ice on the lake. Although it doesn’t appear to be time to break out the shorts yet, the forecast does look warmer for this week. Warmer temps should help navigating the river and the increase the bite for the last few days of walleye season. Walleye season runs through April 14, re-opening May 12. Spring sturgeon catch and release season runs through April 23 and May 8-15, keep one (within size limits) April 24-May 7. Pike season never ends. If you haven’t experienced reeling in a monster sturgeon or trophy pike, spring is one of the best times to do it. It is a blast! Give us a call, lodging and guided trips are available.
The bite over the weekend was hit and miss. Some of those who did the best were jigging with 3/8 oz or 1/2 oz jigs on the river and small jigs/spoons on the lake in 16′-24′ tipped with a minnow. Sturgeon anglers were using a gob of worms, on 5/0 hook and a few ounces of no roll sinkers in deep holes of the river. Pike anglers using live suckers and big smelt in pre-spawn areas. The current is slow right now. Stay tuned for more updates tomorrow and Thursday.
Few more days of ice fishing
We have 40-50+ inches of ice on the lake in the areas we fish and travel right now. Ice fishing trips available through Saturday. Give us a call if you are interested in getting one last blast in! If you are planning on venturing out on your own, some of the public ice roads are getting pretty beat up so be sure to call ahead for current conditions. Adrian’s, Morris Point and Zippel are some of the ice roads near us.
Check out these pictures!
The Bite Not too many changes from last week. Mix of jigging and dead sticking in variety of depths between 16’-31’ using gold and pink jigs, Glo Shots, red hooks, Buckshots tipped with a minnow has been working the best for walleyes and saugers. Big pike are coming up the holes in shallow waters on the lake and bays using live suckers. Log Cabin Bait just a mile away from us has suckers for sale.
We have 40-50+ inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel. We run off of our private access. If you are looking to venture out on your own, there are a number of plowed roads in the area. Be sure to stay on marked trails and roads and check current conditions/what they are allowing out with the road maintainer before venturing out.
Walleye season is open through April 14 on Lake of the Woods.
When walleye season closes for a few weeks, pike and sturgeon fishing heats up in the river and bays. The Rainy River and Lake of the Woods is home to an abundant amount of trophy size lake sturgeon and northern pike.
We have plenty of ice on the lake to keep us fishing safely for the next week and there will probably be quite a bit of ice on the lake for a while after March 31 this year. Despite the cool temps there are signs of spring popping up. The Rainy River is starting to open up to tour east. Currently the river is open at Birchdale 36 miles east of us and the Birchdale landing opened yesterday for boats. Frontier landing will be the next landing to open. I would expect that to open within the next week at this rate, then Vidas Landing near Clementson (6 miles east of Baudette (18 miles east of us)) Timbermill in Baudette and then Wheeler’s Point shortly after. Click here for more information about spring river fishing and stay tuned for updates.
Single red hooks, gold jigs, pink/blue Clam rattle spoon and red Glo Shots tipped with a minnow or two some guests said worked well for them mainly dead sticking was the best approach this week. Although, I wouldn’t count out jigging. It is always a good idea to do a mix of jigging and dead sticking and see what works for you. Lots of saugers, nice 15”+ walleyes, few eelpout, perch and more tullibees and pike this week than we have been seeing in previous weeks. Best depth has been 17’-30’. The guides have been running and gunning chasing after active schools. Electronics help! This is the last weekend for our sleepers but we will continue to have day houses out for a few more weeks, give us a call 800-862-8602.
Walleye season is open through April 14 on Lake of the Woods. Once we end our ice fishing season we will be getting ready to hop in boats on the river. During the time walleye season is closed, there is an abundant amount of trophy size lake sturgeon and northern pike moving around in the river and bays. Fun time of year!
We lost some snow this week, but not changes in the ice conditions. We have 40-50 inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel. We run off of our private access. If you are looking to venture out on your own, there are a number of plowed roads in the area. Be sure to stay on marked trails and roads and check current conditions with the road maintainer before venturing out, conditions vary.
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.
We have already seen some huge sturgeon and nice pike reeled in this year and this is only the beginning! Sturgeon seasons run through May 15 and pike season is open year round. The spring sturgeon catch and release season runs through April 23 and May 8-15. You can keep one sturgeon per calendar year April 24-May 7, between the size of 45”-50” inclusive or over 75” with a sturgeon tag. Sturgeon tags can be purchased at the lodge for $5 or at any place that sells Minnesota fishing licenses.
Come and get in on the fun
Water temp is 45 degrees today. Some of the best sturgeon fishing is just minutes away from our dock. Sturgeon like to hang out in deep holes of the river bottom. One of the best techniques to hook into one is to set up anchored just in a hole or outside of a hole using a 4/0 or 5/0 hook, 2-10 oz. no roll weight depending on the current for that day and tip it with a gob of minnows. The best places to find pike this time of year is in the bays. Throwing dare devils or jointed rapalas usually do well. Hundreds of bays along the river and lake are open now. Guided trips also available too. The lake continues to open up more every day. As soon as the cloud cover clears we will post a satellite picture on our facebook page, stay tuned.
Check out what others have caught this week!
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.
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 lodging/charter fishing packages starting at only $249 per person. Click here to choose your package. *plus tax and based on double occupancy
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.
Frontier and Vidas landings now open to all boats! The Rainy River is open within 5 miles east of Baudette and open water spots within 3 miles of Baudette. Vidas, Frontier, Birchdale and Pelland landings are all open to all boats. Timbermill should open up in a day or so and Wheeler’s Point next. River has opened up 15 miles since Sunday. 16 miles left until it hits our docks! Won’t be long!
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!