Tag Archives: lake of the woods fishing

Off and Running!


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!


Nice Catch!



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.

Sturgeon and pike fishing is heating up!


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

Mother’s Day Brunch
Treat mom to some great fishing, relaxation and Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch at Sportsman’s May 14. From walleye, to salads to mimosas and more click here to check out the menu we have planned and make your reservations today.

Record Breaking Catch & Release Sturgeon


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!

Taylor Schroeder 69 inch sturgeon

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.

Taylor Schroeder 69 inch sturgeon March 2017
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.

Rainy River update!


Rainy River Update!

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!

Lots of good fishing reports coming in! Jigging with gold jigs, rainbows or shiners. Tag us in your photos. We would love to share them!

Click here for an access map http://sportsmanslodges.com/…/7…/Rainy_River_Access_Map1.pdf

$99 Lodge rooms and 20% off cabins/villas this weekend.  20th Annual Mardi Gras Party is Saturday! Join us! 800-862-8602

For more information and reports like us on Facebook!

Vidas Landing Rainy River 3-23-2017

Vidas Landing on the Rainy River 3-22-2017

Frontier Landing Rainy River 3-23-2017

Frontier Landing Rainy River 3-23-2017


Bring on the cold!


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!

Fishing Action
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!








Winter pike

Trail Report
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!

Walleyes Are Biting!


Lake of the Woods continues to have a great summer season. Walleyes are biting from Long Point to Zippel Bay in 29-32 feet of water. Anchored and jigging with worms or trolling with crank baits have been working well. Hot tackle colors have been silver, white, red and orange.  Around Pine Island in 25-30 feet of water is another hot spot. For those anglers heading to the north end of the lake, Garden Island and Little Oak are still producing nice limits of fish. The current water temperature is down a few more degrees from last week at 71.  The forecast looks great so now’s the perfect time to visit.

49 inch sturgeon caught by Larry Deacon. Guided by Travis M

49 inch sturgeon caught by Larry Deacon. Guided by Travis M

28 inch walleye caught by Molli Burns and guided by Captain Matt

28 inch walleye caught by Molli Burns and guided by Captain Matt




Openings still available for this weekend!
If you are looking for a place to relax this weekend, give us a call! Lodging, Camping, Guided Fishing Trips and dock rental available. book@slodges.com or call 800-862-8602

Sturgeon & Bass
The sturgeon are starting to bite. Holes in the river bottom anchored using a 5/0 size hook, 1-2 ounce no roll sinker and a gob of minnows has been working good for sturgeon. The bite should only get stronger as the water starts to cool. Keep one season runs until Sept 30 and Oct 1-April 23 is catch and release season. Guided trips available! The smallmouth bass bite has been good around shallow rocks casting spoons in the river and around reefs.


Warm Water Walleyes


Lake of the Woods is at its peak temperature for the year right now. The temperature is between 74-78 degrees. Where is the best place to find the walleyes? Deep! Depths between 28-32 feet have been best. Anchored jigging and pulling spinners tipped with a leech or minnow has been producing some eyes and saugers but the most action has been using the controlled depth approach pulling crank baits. Red, gold, white and silver have been hot colors. Anglers are reporting several healthy sized walleyes and saugers. Some anglers have also been finding some nice perch, crappies and smallmouth bass fishing in the river using jigs and buck tails. Lots of fishing opportunities going on!

 Stefanich Group with Captain Ralph
 Stefanich Group with Captain Ralph
 Stefanich Group with Captain Ralph August 2016
 Stefanich Group with Captain Ralph. August 2016
 Logan and some nice perch!
 Logan and some nice perch!
 Crappies right off the dock
 Crappies right off the dock
 Bryan “Beef” Sathre found some nice smallies this week
 Bryan “Beef” Sathre found some nice smallies this week


Fall Fishing is just around the corner
A few more weeks and we will start to see fall creep in. Fall fishing is phenomenal on Lake of the Woods, walleyes, saugers, sturgeon, bass, crappies, pike, perch and muskies abound. Boat rentals, dock slips and guided trips available through late October. Click here to learn more.

66 years of fishing Lake of the Woods!


Check out one of our long time guests, Fran 90 years young. Fran has been coming to Lake of the Woods since 1950 and to Sportsman’s since it was built in 1971. Her first trip was on her honeymoon. Fran doesn’t miss her annual fishing trip with guide Tony Beckel and she still has the touch to real in the walleyes. We can’t wait to see you again next year. Nice catch Fran!

The bite on Lake of the Woods continues to be good despite a few storms that passed through last week. The current water temperature is 66.5 degrees. Drifting with a spinner and 2-3 ounce sinker in 18-26 feet of water around Garden Island and Graceton Beach has been good. Plenty of 17-19 inch walleyes are being caught along with some larger walleye. Worms are being favored but leeches and minnows are not a bad idea to bring along too depending on the day. Guided trips available. Enjoy your summer and wet a line today.

Rob Close from Ellsworth WI reeled in a nice 23 inch walleye released. Guided by Captain Cam

Rob Close from Ellsworth WI reeled in a nice 23 inch walleye released. Guided by Captain Cam

Fran Wittfoth from Holland, MN 27 inch 8.5 lb walleye released Captain Tony Beckel

Fran Wittfoth from Holland, MN 27 inch 8.5 lb walleye released Captain Tony Beckel


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4th of July Celebration
Walleyes, Fireworks, Parade, Entertainment and Summer Fun!
Click here to read all about the activities planned.