7 Days left! The ice is good on the lake, 40-50+ inches in the areas we fish and travel right now. We have just lost snow up to this point and evening temps remain below freezing. Guests have been catching some nice fish. We have some openings available this week. Come have some fun!
Check out the pictures of the week!
Mix of jigging and dead sticking in variety of depths between 17’-31’ using Hyperglides, gold jigs, Glo Shots, red hooks, glow green and glow red Buckshots have been catching some walleyes and saugers this week. A lunker 15lb eelpout was caught on a buck tail. Big pike are coming up the holes in shallow waters on the lake and bays using live suckers. Electronics help catch rates! Bring them a long or call ahead to rent.
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.
Zero to a foot of hard packed snow is on the ice right now, more the farther north you go and varied amounts on the land trails.
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 for a few weeks of walleye fishing. When walleye season closes, 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 to nearly Birchdale, 38 miles from the lodge and 26 miles east of Baudette. I would suspect in a few days the first boats will start sliding over the ice chunks into the water. After Birchdale, it will only be a matter of days before the rest of the landings start to open up. There is a public landing at Birchdale, two between Birchdale and Baudette, a couple in Baudette and one at Wheeler’s Point. Click here for more information about spring river fishing and stay tuned for updates. We will start checking landings on a regular basis next week and post updates on our website and Facebook pages. Stay tuned!
Some people fish a lifetime hoping to catch one of these monster walleyes. Ashton Nills caught two in one day on March 16, 2018 at Sportsman’s Lodge. A 27 inch and 28.5 inch walleyes. What a day! Awesome angling Ashton and excellent release. Thanks for visiting!
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.
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
Fran Wittfoth from Holland, MN 27 inch 8.5 lb walleye released Captain Tony Beckel
Open water channel through Four Mile Bay is getting wider!
The Rainy River is wide open all the way from Birchdale to Wheeler’s Point now. An open water channel through Four Mile Bay to Lake of the Woods is widening by the minute.
All boat ramps from Birchdale to Wheeler’s Point are now open to all boats.
Walleye season runs until April 14. Sturgeon season is catch and release now through April 23. Keep one sturgeon within 45″-50″ or over 75″ is April 24-May 7, be sure to pick up a $5 tag at the lodge or anywhere where you can buy a Minnesota fishing license. May 8-15 is catch and release again. Northern pike season is always open. Lake of the Woods is home to some beautiful walleyes, huge sturgeon and one of the top 5 lakes in Minnesota to catch a trophy pike. Get your fish on! Spring fishing is here!
Another ice fishing season is in the books! Thanks for another great season!
The first day on the river went well! Anglers reeled in several nice walleye and sturgeon. Water temperature is 36 degrees. Jigging with jigs tipped with chubs or shiner minnows worked best.
26 inch walleye
Caught by Todd Labine 3-14-2016
Guided by Shane.
27.75 inch walleye caught and released by Andy Labine. Guided by Shane. Nice catch!
The boats are shined up and ready to go!
The Rainy River is open at Frontier Landing 16 miles east of Baudette (28 miles east of the lodge) as of yesterday.
Crews worked hard to clean out the shore ice at Birchdale Landing, 26 miles east of Baudette (38 miles east of the lodge) yesterday morning and it is ready to go! Only snow and salt remain on the ramp. We anticipate Frontier landing to be open in a few days and Vidas Landing 8 miles east of Baudette (20 miles east of the lodge) a few days after that. Time for river fishing!!!
Birchdale Landing is open! 3-14-2016
Just snow and salt on the ramp remain
Crews started early in the morning March 14 to get the ramp ready for fishing! Thank you for the help!
Lodging as low as $40 per person per night now throughMay 26. Guided outfitter trips available now! $450 for the boat for up to 4 people for a full day including guide, bait, use of rods and reels, fish cleaning and soft drinks/water assortment. *plus tax and based on double occupancy
Walleye season is open untilmidnightApril 14. Northern Pike season never closes and lake sturgeon catch and release is open now throughApril 23, keep one within size limitsApril 24-May 7, catch and release againMay 8-15. For limits and the complete Minnesota DNR regulation guide,click here.
For directions and information about the Rainy River boat access ramps,click here
Ice Fishing Update
Right now we still have 15-25 inches of ice and plan to fish through this weekend in our day houses. The bite has been improving this week. Anglers have had the best luck in depths outside of Pine Island in 21’-33’ using bright colored small lures and jigs tipped with a minnow. Jigging aggressively 3-6 inches of bottom has been the best approach. Electronics really help pin point the fish. If you do not have one, we suggest trying one, we do have rentals available but be sure to call ahead to reserve, they go fast. We currently have openings every day this week except Saturday. Give us a call to make one last trip 800-862-8602!
Check out some the latest catches! Ashley is on the left with a nice 18 inch walleye she caught this past weekend, guided by Beef and Jim Fuschetto is on the right with his 25 inch walleye he caught and released.
River Soft Water Fishing Update It’s that time of year! To many, it seems strange for ice fishing and boat fishing to be going on at the same time, but this is very common in our area due to the difference in the lake and river conditions. This year it is certainly starting much sooner than normal but nonetheless, it appears spring is showing up early this year. 40 miles to our east, the Rainy River is starting to open up. There is open water 10 miles east of Birchdale landing right now. Birchdale is a small town east of Baudette. Due to the current in the river, this body of water opens before Lake of the Woods. As of right now we anticipate the Birchdale landing to be open after this weekend. We are now booking guided boat trips aboard an 18’-20’ boat equipped with a guide, poles, bait and fish cleaning. Hook into a mighty walleye, a monster lake sturgeon (the dinosaurs of the lake) or an aggressive northern pike!
Walleye fishing is open on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods until April 14, closing for a short time and then re-opening May 14. Lake sturgeon season is catch and release now through April 23, keep one within size limits April 24-May 7 and catch and release again May 8-15. Northern pike season is open year round. Spring is one of the best times of year to get into an aggressive bite! Take advantage of the early spring and get into some fun fishing action! Book your trip today 800-862-8602.