We woke up to more ice today. At our Sportsman’s Lodge location, we can see ice as far as the eye can see on the river in front of the lodge, 4 Mile Bay (the bay we drive out on to get to the lake) as well as the view from Morris Point of the lake. Once the clouds clear we will share a satellite photo on our Facebook page and blog to give everyone a glimpse of what the entire lake is looking like at this point. It won’t be long and Gregg will be taking his annual early-season flights to get a better view of how things are coming along. Watch for those photos to come in the days ahead too.
Up at our sister resorts, Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge and Eagle Ridge, a sheet of ice stretches from Young’s Bay to Oak Island and to the south of Oak Island as far as we can see except for an open pocket around Little Oak Island. The airboat broke through in many spots between Young’s Bay and Oak Island the past few days but the open water spots that were seen before had iced over.
What’s next? We need calm winds and cold temperatures. No ice travel is advised by any means at this point. This is just a thin sheet that can move and open up within a few hours, but it is progress and one step closer to the beginning of the 2020-2021 ice fishing season kickoff. Exciting news for sure! Stay tuned for more reports to come. If you haven’t booked in for winter yet, give us a call at 800-862-8602, and come have some fun this winter.
From the Sportsman’s Family to your family, we wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
We are making ice! At Sportsman’s Lodge Rainy River a thin layer of ice in front of the lodge has been coming and going this week. Many small bays have a sheet of ice and the larger bays have ice too along with open water pockets.
At Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge and Eagle Ridge, we have a thin layer in the bay and in many areas where there is no current.
Will it stay and continue to build or will it go? Only time will tell, but we know for sure the weather is changing and it won’t be long before the ice fishing season will begin. Once the temps start dipping and the wind is calm it doesn’t take long to build ice pretty quick in our neck of the woods.
Here at Sportsman’s, we start our ice fishing season with our day use houses at our Sportsman’s Rainy River location, typically in the first few weeks of December. Our sleeper fish houses are next, a week or so after, and at our Sportsman’s Oak Island and Eagle Ridge locations, we start just after Christmas. Once we have 8-12 inches of good ice in the areas we fish and travel, it’s game on.
What is open? Lodging in our cabins and villas are open year-round. We will open our lodge rooms back up in early December when the ice roads and trails open up. In accordance with the Governor’s new COVID guidelines, we will start our season with lodging, fish house rentals, take out food, and off-sale with on-property delivery, and our gift shop will be open. Our pool, dine in services, and game room will be closed until December 18. We are continuing to follow guidelines to keep everyone safe. For more information on our procedures, please click here.
Our 49th soft water season is coming to a close. We want to THANK EVERYONE who was able to visit us this season and to those who couldn’t, we can’t wait to see you soon. We are now sliding into “freezing season” and fall cleaning and projects for in full swing. If you are still interested in coming up and wetting a line or just relaxing in a cabin, we welcome you with lodging available. The public ramp will continue to be open as long as mother nature allows. Our dining rooms, guide service, bar, pool, and lodge rooms are closed until ice fishing season kicks off in December. For lodging reservations for fall or the upcoming seasons give us a call at 800-862-8602 or click here to contact us online.
The river bite has been hit and miss. It has been a different fall this year. Many reports of anglers seeing fish on the graphs in the river but a light bite. Anchored using a jig or minnow in 8’-25’ on the lake or river has been the go-to approach. Gold and pink have been the best-colored jigs.
For sturgeon, deep holes in the river and bays are good spots using a sturgeon rig tipped with crawlers and shiners. The best pike bite is in bays trolling along shorelines with a crankbait.
Thanks again for a great season! Good luck to all the hunters and we look forward to seeing you this winter!
Last Weekend of the Season! Sturgeon Tournament starts tomorrow. Our regular spring tournament rescheduled to this fall will kick off tomorrow morning and run for 2 days Friday and Saturday to close out our 2020 softwater season. The spring tournament usually produces lots of monster fish. What’s in store this fall? Stay tuned! Good luck anglers, stay safe, and have fun!
Looks like we are in for a warm-up for a while starting tomorrow. The walleye bite has been up and down lately. Anglers have been chasing walleyes in a variety of spots including outside of the gap, bay, and river in 7′-15′ and 16′-24′ anchored with a jig and a minnow.
The water temp is in the 30s, the level remains low and the current slower than normal. We received a couple of inches of snow yesterday and have accumulated some shore ice in the bays. There is minimal shore ice on the river in front of the lodge. The dock stalls are all open. Wheeler’s Point landing continues to be open with a dock and no shore ice. Sand has been put down on one side of the landing after the snow and the sun is peaking out. The warm weather should melt off the packed snow soon.
Dining, Bar & Lodging After breakfast on Sunday, we will be closing our dining, bar, lodge rooms, and pool during the freezing season. Cabins and villas will remain open.
Water temp has dipped down to high 30’s. River bite is getting better but outside the gap has been more favorable lately. Jigging pink, green, or gold jigs tipped with a shiner in 7’-14’ and 17’-23’ have been good depths.
Some nice sturgeon are being found in deep holes of the river using a 4/0 or 5/0 hook, no roll sinker, gob of works and a shiner or two. Our sturgeon tournament is still on for next weekend. Openings are available.
One more week left to sign up! Sturgeon Tournament on October 30 & 31 Cash and prizes! Prime Rib Dinner and lots of fun. Click here to learn more or call us at 800-862-8602.
Up & Down The walleye bite has up and down like the weather and the wind lately.
Gaps, bays, river, just outside of the gap, and areas up north all good places to try. Keep working it, you will find them. Anchored with a brightly colored or gold 3/8-1/2 oz jig and shiner or chub has been the go-to method in 9’-15’ and 18’-23’. A good shiner run hit the river last week which usually means the walleyes are soon after.
So be ready for that. Water temp 50-51 degrees, the current is slower than normal and the water level is low. Some nice pike has been caught. These two were caught while targeting walleye!
For sturgeon, holes in the river and bay are the place to be using a 5/0 circle hook, 3-5 ounce roll sinker, and a gob of minnows with a shiner or two. Areas with a little current along a hole are a good spot to try too.
Sign up for our Sturgeon Tournament on October 30 & 31 Cash and prizes! Click here to learn more or call us at 800-862-8602.
Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge
Few more Days This is our last week of the season here in the islands before ice fishing. If you are interested in a last-minute trip for the weekend, give us a jingle at 800-772-8411! The passenger service is still running and guides, restaurant/bar, and lodging is available.
The what, where, and how hasn’t changed too much from last week’s fishing report. Points, shorelines, and areas with current are still the hot spots for walleye. 13-26 feet of water anchored jigging gold, glow in the dark, and pink jigs tipped with a chub or shiner. Pike and muskies hitting in bays and rock points.
Thank you to everyone who was able to visit this season and to those who couldn’t, we can’t wait to see you again next year. We know many people had to change their mode of transportation to get to us and we appreciate the extra effort. We are looking forward to a more “normal” soft water season next year!
It’s time to make your ice fishing reservations! Lake of the Woods passenger service will be running to get you here and back. Check out our winter packages and contact us to lock in your dates.
Walleyes – Pike – Sturgeon – Bass Take your pick or try them all. Water temp is now in the lower 50’s. The jig bite for walleyes is heating up more and more by the day in gaps, river, and bays. Anchored using glow in the dark, bright colored or gold jigs have been working the best in 8’-14’ and 20’-26’tipped with a shiner or chub. More shiners are running this week!
Large pike have been biting in the bays, some on walleye rigs, and reeled in by surprise. If you are looking to target pike, try trolling crankbaits around rocky points and cabbage weed bays. For sturgeon, holes in the river and bay are the place to be using a 5/0 circle hook, 3-5 ounce roll sinker, and a gob of minnows with a shiner or two. Don’t count out the smallmouth bass. There are thousands of rock reefs and rock piles in the lake and river where they like to be. Throw out a crankbait and give it a shot.
Midweek October Openings Give us a call and come wet a line. Lodge Rooms only $89 per night for 2 people and up to 20% off summer lodging and charter packages. *plus tax
Sign up for our Sturgeon Tournament October 30 & 31 Cash prizes! Click here to learn more or call us at 800-862-8602.
Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge
Walleye for Dinner
Points, shorelines, and areas with current are the hot spots right now to reel in a nice limit of walleye. Anchored jigging gold, glow in the dark, and pink jigs tipped with a chub, shiner, or Gulp have been working. The last few days a morning, afternoon, and evening run have been prominent.
You still have time!
We are open for softwater fishing for a few more weeks. Openings available for lodging, guides, and the passenger service can get you here and back. Give us a call at 800-772-8411.
Walleye and Sturgeon Biting at the Line The weather is cooling down again. A sure reminder October is just a day away.
For walleyes, anchored with a gold, pink or red jig and a chub or shiner is working just outside of the gaps and bays 9’-15’ amd 21’-27’. Varied sizes biting at the line. Water temp in the mid 50’s. The sturgeon bite has been good in areas of current and on the edge of a deep hole in the river using a 18″ snell made of 60 lb line, 5/0 circle hook, 3-5 ounce roll sinker and a gob of minnows with a shiner or two. Today is the last day of keep season but you can catch and release these prehistoric monsters October through April 23.
Fall Midweek Special Lodge Rooms only $89 per night for 2 adults plus tax through October.
Join us for our Fall Sturgeon Tournament October 30 & 31 Sign up for this fun event! Our normally scheduled spring tournament is coming up this fall October 30 & 31. We had rescheduled this year’s tournament due to COVID. Cash prizes! Check out the details online and give us a call 800-862-8602 to sign up.
Rig up a jig Jigs and a minnow is reeling the walleyes and crappies. Shorelines and points with current 8’-24’ have been good for walleyes and areas around structure 15’-30’ hot for crappies. Gold, pink, bright green and glow in the dark have been good colors. Muskes and pike are hitting in areas of rocky points and cabbage weed bays trolling with crankbaits or casting with jerkbaits. Not sure where to go? Ask about booking a gudie. You still have time for one last soft water blast. The passenger service is still running to get you from Sportman’s Lodge to Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge. Give us a jingle and enjoy the peaceful island atmosphere.
Warm Week Is this the last warm blast? We have had highs in the upper 60’s and 70’s this week. Sounds like a cool down is coming starting Sunday.
Hit and miss bite this week but yesterday it picked up. Water temp has pushed up to lower 60’s. Anchored and jigging a chub or shiner or drifting pulling spinners with a crawler or chub has been luring in the walleyes. 9’-15’ and 22’-28’ outside of Pine Island and Zippel Bay. Gold, yellow and orange have been popular colors.
Fall Sturgeon Tournament Openings October 30 & 31 Limited space! Sign up for this fun event! Our normally scheduled spring tournament is coming up this fall October 30 & 31. We had rescheduled this year’s tournament due to COVID. Cash prizes! Check out the details online and give us a call 800-862-8602 to sign up.
The Bite Jigging a gold, orange or glow in the dark jig tipped with a minnow in 10’-14’ and 21’-27’ on or around structure and shorelines has been good for walleyes. The landscape with the leaves turning is absolutely beautiful right now.
Check out our Great Fall Rates through mid October Click here or call 800-772-8411.