Author Archives: Patrick Clark

Sportsman’s Ice Fishing Update – 12/18/19



Good start to the season!
Most people are catching their limits in a day, two. There seems to be an even divide between walleyes and saugers, with a mix of whitefish and eel pout. Few pike and sturgeon caught too! Check out these pictures!

Current ice depth is between 15-16 inches in the areas we fish and travel. We have minimal snow, 0-4” on the lake right now and not much more on land. We are making ice! Some of the best fishing has been in 18’-22’ in the mud lately dead sticking and jigging are both working, using charmers, Buck-Shots, gold or other bright colored jigs and minnows or shiners.

If you are headed out on your own.
Area roads are open. Here is a recent report from a few open roads near the lodge.  Morris Point is only allowing ATV’s, snowmobiles and side by sides and announced earlier this week they are opening their road to small vehicles like jeeps and small pickups on Friday, December 20. Adrian’s out of Four Mile Bay is currently allowing small to mid-size vehicles out not pulling any houses. ATV’s, side by sides and snowmobiles can pull out houses up to 18’ long. Have fun and please remember to stay on the marked roads and trails, ice conditions vary on the lake.

Snowmobile Trails
We need more snow! Right now the lake trails have 0”-4” of snow and land trails not too much more. The lake trail from Four Mile Bay to Oak Island is now marked. 10”-14” of ice is reported on this trail right now. Watch for several bare ice spots as well as chunk ice sticking up. Grooming will begin as soon as we get more snow. The trail from Graceton Beach to Warroad is planned to be checked and marked if all goes well Friday, December 20.  If you are out and about, please stay on the marked trail as ice conditions vary off of it.  No travel is advised on the Rainy River. Ice is inconsistent and not safe yet. For more information about the trails check out the Lake of the Woods Drifters and Northwest Angle Edge Riders updates. 


Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge


We are looking forward to opening December 26!
The guides have been checking ice and getting fish houses ready.   We are looking forward to opening next week.  Right now out at the resort and in the areas we will start fishing we have 10-12 inches of ice.
Road from Young’s Bay to the Resort
Between Young’s Bay to the resort,  ice is building but due to the high water and current in those areas it is taking a little longer to build some good ice,  some spots currently have 3-6” and others 9”+.  The ice road is plowed out to Mergans Point right now. We will be monitoring these conditions and planning an alternative route if we need to for  guests to get out to the island from Young’s Bay for the first week or so after opening. The snowmobile trail from Young’s Bay to the resort is staked with black stakes and open for snowmobile traffic now, 5”-14” of ice reported as of Monday. Snow is minimal 0”-6” so watch for bare spots and ice chunks.

Trail from Four Mile Bay/Sportsman’s Lodge
The lake trail from Sportsman’s Lodge on the south end of the lake to Oak Island is currently marked with black stakes and open for snowmobile travel. 10”-14” of ice is reported.  We could use more snow, so if you head out, be sure to watch for bare spots and ice chunks. The Lake of the Woods passengers Service will be running from Sportsman’s Lodge to Oak Island starting December 26.  For more information about the trails check out the Northwest Angle Edge Riders and Lake of the Woods Drifters updates. 

A little break from the HOT HOT HOT, weather that is.


Sportsman’s Lodge

A little break from the HOT HOT HOT, weather that is.
We love our summers here in Minnesota but sometimes I think most of northerners can agree, temps in the upper 80’s is best in small doses. We have welcomed a cool off in the 70’s the past few days.

The weather may have cooled but the fishing has not! Check out these pics and jump on over and like our Facebook page and check out the latest action of what Captain Eric’s crew is up to this morning!  Captain Eric Best reported by 10am an incredible first drift of the day, 7 slot walleyes (19.5-28 inches), a 29 inch walleye and 3 keepers bait fishing! WOW! Gotta love days like this! Lots of great summer fishing left. You still have time!

Best Approach
Mix of bait fishing with crawlers, crawler harnesses and trolling with crank baits in 18’-32’ of water. Good old Lake of the Wood’s gold has been the hot color for spinners and combination crankbait colors in white/silver and white/red. Water temperature is has bounced up and down in the 70’s lately. We have a current temp of 72 degrees.

No equipment required!
If you jump on a charter, no equipment is required. The guide will take care of the bait, poles, tackle, get you on the fish and clean your fish too. Boats hold up to 6 passengers but we do take groups 1+ too. Call up your friends and give us a call! 2 night/1 day lodging and charter trips starting at just $251* per person. *Plus tax and based on double occupancy.

Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge



Up & Down
Fishing has been like jigging this week, up and down.  The most successful approaches have been pulling spinners with crawlers or minnows and some jigging with a 3/8 oz. jig tipped with a minnow on the reefs in 20’-30’.  The eastern side of Falcon Island and Little Oak Island has been good areas. The water temperature is 72 degrees.

Muskies & Northern Pike

Morning and evening bite has been the best. Trolling deep bays and rocky points with bucktails and top water lures have been hot.  Top water crank baits and spinners have been working for pike casting in a weedy bed and rocky shorelines.

Smallmouth bass have been hitting around rock reefs in 4’-14’ using crank baits.

Pictures & Videos
Have you visited us? We love to see your pictures and videos! Please share with us! You might even show up in a fishing report! Share with us via Email, Facebook or Instagram #sportsmanslodgelow