Last week in the Islands This weekend will be our last weekend at Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge for this ice fishing season. Our sister property, Sportsman’s Lodge will be have ice fishing available for a few more weeks. Thanks everyone who visited us this season. We always enjoy seeing old friends and making new ones. Soft water fishing is just around the corner, we hope to see everyone again soon.
This week depths in 21’-27’ around structure using plain hooks, gold jigs, Glo Shots and small spoons tipped with a minnow has been the best approach for catching walleyes and saugers. Guests have also been catching an occasional perch, tullibee, perch, pike and eelpout. The most aggressive bite has been between 8am -10am and 2pm-4pm. Mix of vertical jigging and dead sticking. Electronics help!
We have 40+ inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel.
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.
Sporadic fishing this week. Some doing better than others. Mix of sizes. Walleyes, saugers, few perch and pike coming up the holes. Best bite has been using electronics and mix of jigging and dead sticking using pink glow, green/glow and gold jigs and small spoons tipped with a chub minnow in 19’-26’ of water. Hugging bottom or reeling up just a few inches and jigging have been a successful approach. As we move closer to spring, the warming weather should only heat up the bite!
No changes in the ice conditions, lots of ice. We have 40-50 inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel on the groomed trails at this time. Forecast says the freezing will continue. 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 with local resorts before going out.
March sunshine usually means more fishing action and with 40-50 inches of ice, we should have a solid month left of ice fishing! Anglers are finding walleyes and saugers in 18′-32′ using Glo Shots, green and yellow Buckshots, bubble gum spoons, gold and orange jigs and pink hooks tipped with a chub minnow. Some anglers having success with a minnow head, some with a full minnow and some prefer 2! Have some fun, try some new tactics. Despite the stained waters of Lake of the Woods, many guests have had good luck using underwater cameras this year. If you have one, bring it along! Vexilars/Fish Finders are popular amongst Lake of the Wood’s anglers too and we do usually see a higher catch rate with those anglers who use them. Vexilar rentals are available at the lodge but be sure to call ahead, they go fast.
Mix of dead sticking and vertical jigging is the best approach. When jigging, usually reeling up a 3-4 inches and jigging is a good approach. If that isn’t working for you, try hug bottom and jig. You never know what might get you hooked on dinner!
We have 40-50 inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel at this time. Yes! You read that right, 4+ feet. You should see the augers the guides have been using! We run a groomed trail. There are a number of plowed roads in the area, if you decide to venture out on your own, as always be sure to stay on marked trails and roads and check with local resorts before going out. Remember, the entire lake never freezes equally.
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.
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Decent bite this week, morning and late afternoon bite continues to be the strongest. We are seeing mainly walleyes coming through the holes along with some sauger and the occasional perch and pike. Jigging and dead sticking with gold and/or pink jigs, plain hook or macho minnow #29 has been working well in 20’-26’ of water. Electronics help too! Rentals available, call to reserve ahead of time.
Currently we have 20-24 inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel. If you venture out on your own, be sure to stay on marked trails and roads. The ice is rough this year! Lots of ice chunks sticking up.
The ice road from Young’s Bay to the resort is plowed and it good shape! Come on 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 south shore has several spots of bare ice and anywhere from 0”-10” of snow on the ice, more snow in our area of the lake. 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.
Waters are beginning to clear up in the islands and fishing is improving as well. With the mayfly hatch, the windblown shorelines will be holding fish as well as the mud adjacent to rock reefs and structures. Jigging around these structures is still producing good fish. Pink, gold and chartreuse have all produced. Drifting spinners has been very good. Hammered gold and orange have been the go to colors. There has been no front runner in bait choice; crawlers and leeches both will produce.
The muskie bite is heating up! A fast moving bucktail at shallow weed beds and rock points and structures is working well. Cover water and contact as many fish as possible! Check out this whopper!
Good Luck and Happy 4th of July Week!
Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, we have a getaway for you.
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Interested in working where you play? Or know someone looking for a summer job?
We are still looking for a few more people to join our team for the summer season or beyond.
Room & board included. This is a great job for someone who wants to save some money, not hassle with rent or a grocery bill, meet some great people, do some fishing and enjoy the island life! Click here to learn more about the current available positions and apply today.
With air temperatures dropping in the low 30s we all knew the water temperatures were not far behind. Water temperatures dipped all the way to 40 degrees. And with cooling water almost always means fishing slows, especially in the spring time! This does not mean there are not fish to be caught! As far as sturgeon, get in high percentage areas and camp. With the water cooling those big dinos will be lethargic but they will bite if they are there. When targeting pike, if you are casting work those baits as slow as possible. Although it may take some more patience, dead baits under a float or on the bottom may be the better bet. As far as location, creek mouths and any areas of slack water are great areas to target! Good luck and we will see you out there!
Walleye Opener is only 10 days away! Do you have your reservations in?
SPRING FISHING SPECIALS ~ Two nights lodging in your choice of a lodge room or cabin and one day charter fishing aboard a 27’ boat with onboard restroom, experienced guide, use of poles, bait, tackle, assortment of pop/water and fish cleaning package starting at only $210 per person. Two Night/Two Day starting at $323 and Three Night/Three Day starting at $369. Lodging, boat rental and dock slips also available. Click here to learn more and book your stay today 800-862-8602. *plus tax and based on double occupancy
The man, the myth, the legend is on the board with his new personal best sturgeon… 59.5″.. It was even tagged.. Great job Blue Olson. Great battle.
Guide Bryan “Beef” Sathre
Check out this nice 39.5 inch pike!
Charter boats are ready for opener!
Take a Mom fishing Mother’s Day is May 14. Treat mom to some great fishing, relaxation and Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch at Sportsman’s next weekend. She will love our cozy accommodations, indoor pool, hot tub, beautiful views, excellent fishing and delicious food. Click here for our spring lodging and fishing packages and here to check out our Mother’s Day menu. 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.
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 lodge is closed during break up but we are still here to take your call. Now is the time to book your spring and summer trip. We will be opening up in May. Check out our spring deals! 800-772-8411.