It’s Sturgeon & Pike time! It’s that time of year. While the walleye season closes for a few weeks, it’s time to get out and get into some monster sturgeon and aggressive pike action. Head out to the river bed holes and bays. For sturgeon, anchor near or in deep holes with some current in the river or bays and use an 18” snell, 60lb test, 2-3 ounces no roll sinker, and a 4/0 or 5/0 hook tipped with a gob of worms and a shiner. For pike, bays are the perfect place to find them this time of year. Dead baits, spinnerbait, spoon, or crankbait are all going to be good options.
Spring Specials continue through May 26. Click here to take advantage of our spring deals and contact us today to book your trip. Summer on your mind? Our villas are the perfect place for the whole family. Check out our website for all of our summer offerings.
-Walleye Opener is May 15 -Sturgeon Catch & Release season runs through April 23 and May 8-15. -Sturgeon “keep” season runs April 24-May 7 and July 1 – Sept 30. -The Sturgeon season is entirely closed May 16-June 30. -Pike season is open all year.
Oak Island Fishing Report
More Water in our View The bay in front of the lodge is now wide open and there is open water between the island to Young’s Bay at the Northwest Angle.
To the south, ice is still as far as the eye can see but it shouldn’t be too long. We are looking forward to opening up for the walleye opener weekend, May 14-16 for the season. If you haven’t made your soft water season reservations yet, give us a call at 800-772-8411 and be sure to ask about our spring deals going on in May.
Now Hiring for the season Looking for a change of pace or know someone who is? Live where you love to play! We have seasonal and long-term openings for internships, housekeeping, cook, server, bartender, and front desk at our 3 locations. Visit our website to apply today. www.sportsmanslodges.com/apply
Walleye and sturgeon fishing continues. Late last week the river got murky from tributaries and rivers that flow to the Rainy opening up but it has been improving by the day. This year’s opening was nothing like a normal year due to the low water level and minimal run off. Water clarity is currently at 12”-14” on average now, improved from 3-4″, water temp is 42-45 degrees, current is slower than normal. The lake ice continues to deteriorate by the day but most of the lake still has ice.
Anglers have been finding walleye and sturgeon from areas just outside of Pine Island to Birchdale in various depths. A 3/8-1/2 ounce gold or glow-in-the-dark jig tipped with a minnow or plastic has been working well for walleyes. Sturgeon have been nibbling on a 4/0 or 5/0 circle hook with a gob of worms using a 2-3 ounce no roll sinker. Shorelines for walleyes and deep holes for sturgeon have been favored.
The walleye season continues through April 14 before taking a pause until May 15.
Sturgeon catch and release season are going on now through April 23. Keep season runs April 24-May 7 and catch and release comes back for one more week May 8-15 before closing entirely for 6 weeks.
Pike season never closes.
Our spring dock work is nearing completion. Give our front desk a call for availability and to reserve at 800-862-8602.
Few more weeks of walleye season We are heading into the last few weeks of walleye season before it closes for a month. The Rainy River is open now and we have open water just past Pine Island as well. Over 40 miles of fishable waters are available for anglers and 5 public boat ramps are open.
The bite heated up over the weekend. Anglers caught some nice walleye and sturgeon. The wind kicked up the last few days and our temps hit us like a yo-yo with highs in the 40’s to 60’s to back down to highs in the 20’s making the catching a little more challenging. I guess a little reminder from Mom Nature, it is still very early in the soft water season. The good news is the weather looks like it is on a warming trend starting today and the wind is looking better too. Should be a nice weekend to get out and do some fishing. The water temp has been in the mid 30’s the last few days down from the upper 30’s. The big walleyes are roaming. Anchored or drifting with a bright-colored 3/8-1/2 oz jig and a minnow is working well along shorelines 13’-22’. The water level remains low.
More Species It is not just about the walleye this time of year. Monster sturgeon are everywhere and as more bays are opening up, that means pike fishing is about to get fired up too. For sturgeon, a good approach is to anchor near or in deep holes with some current in the River or Four Mile Bay and use an 18” snell, 60lb test, 2-3 ounces no roll sinker and a 4/0 or 5/0 hook tipped with a gob of worms and a shiner. Once you hook in, be ready! Some of these monsters take up to a few hours to reel in. It can be quite an adventure! The Daly group visited us this week and said the morning and early afternoon was slow but boy was it worth the wait. They caught 14 sturgeon between 2pm-6:30pm. Bait up they said, with lots of crawlers using a #5 hook and a frozen shiner worked great for them. They also suggested eating at the lodge, tipping your server and having fun! 🙂 Thanks for coming guys! Be sure to check out some of their pictures in our slide show. For pike, casting spoons and jerk baits in shallow bays with structure should get you into some action.
Fishing Seasons Walleye open through April 14, reopening May 15 Northern Pike never closes. Open year-round. Lake Sturgeon catch and release now through April 23, keep one season April 24-May 7, catch and release May 8-15, closed May 16-June 30, keep one season July 1-Sept 30, catch and release Oct 1-April 23. For more information about seasons, limits and licenses click here.
Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge & Eagle Ridge
The landscape around the islands is still pretty icy but it won’t be long. Contact us today to book your summer trip! Our lodging, restaurant, and bar are currently closed but we are still here to take your call at 800-772-8411. We open back up in May. Check out our spring deals!
Just like that, we have water at the docks. The Rainy River is now open to the lodge and the Wheeler’s Point boat landing is open. There are now 5 public landings open along the Rainy River and over 40 miles of fishable waters by boat. Wheelers Point, Timbermill, VIdas, Frontier and Birchdale. Click here for a map of the landing locations.
Yesterday there was a channel of open water that extended through Four Mile Bay too. We expect the lake to open quickly this year too.
Early fishing reports are good. Anglers are catching some nice walleye and sturgeon. Walleye season is open through April 14 on Lake of the Woods, reopening May 15. On the river and Four Mile Bay, it is catch and release only through April 14. On the lake, the limit remains the same as the regular season, limit of 6. Not more than 4 can be walleye; only 1 walleye over 28″; walleye 19 1/2″ through 28″ must be immediately released. Once the season reopens in May the limit will be 6 again on the River, Bay, and Lake.
Sturgeon right now through April 23 is catch and release only. April 24 – May 7 you can keep one per calendar year. Fish must be 45″-50″ inclusive or over 75″. May 8-15 is catch and release again before closing for 6 weeks. Pike season will be cranking up here soon as more bays open up. Pike season never closes on Lake of the Woods. The limit 3. Only 1 over 40″; all northern pike from 30″ through 40″ must be immediately released.
A jig and minnow or plastics is all you need for walleye this time of year. So far this year all you need is a 3/8 oz jig. The current is slow and the water level well below normal right now. For sturgeon, a few ounces of weight, 4/0 or 5/0 hook, and a gob of minnows works well.
Lodging and guided trips available through the spring season. We have some great lodging rates starting at only $95 a night for 2 people plus tax. Give us a call to book your trip 800-862-8602 or click here to contact us online. Happy Spring!
A week left of March and the river is nearly open to the lodge already. What a year! As of this morning, the river had opened up 4 miles overnight and was open within 5 miles of the lodge We expect to have open water in front of the lodge later today or early tomorrow. 4 boat landings are open now. Birchdale, Frontier, Vidas and Timbermill. Wheeler’s Point is next. The edges of the ice are looking pretty soft and gray in front of the lodge and Wheeler’s Point landing.
Anglers are reporting a great walleye and sturgeon bite so far. Water clarity is a few feet and the current is slower than normal. We do have not much of any runoff left and the river level is much lower than it has been in years. As far as we know the “forks” have not let out yet. Once they let out it usually impacts the current, fishing, and water clarity for a few days but with a very low water level and not much runoff we are wondering if it will really make much of an impact this year? Many experts don’t think so.
Spring is here to stay it looks like. Give us a call to book your trip. We have lodging, guided fishing, a bar and restaurant, an indoor pool and hot tub, nightly camping spots opening May 1, and our new seasonal campground opening in late May this year. Something for everyone.
River Update Birchdale, Frontier, and Vidas landings are all open on the Rainy River now. Water was flowing just to the west of The Clementson Rapids yesterday when we snapped these pictures. Clementson is located 8 miles east of Baudette and 20 miles east of the lodge. Won’t be long before there is open water in Baudette and soon after in front of the lodge. We expect that to happen this week. Timbermill access will open next. Click here to view the local boat landing map. We are going to run out and check Timbermill later today. Watch our Facebook page and website for that update coming soon.
The fish are biting too! A few of the guides got out this weekend. Caught some nice fish. Check out these pictures and give us a call to book your spring trip.
Lodging and guided trips are available. Spring lodging specials available starting at only $95 for 2 adults per night plus tax.
Water is flowing through Frontier now and the river is open just west of there. Frontier Landing is located 19 miles east of Baudette. Birchdale landing is fully open for boats and it doesn’t look like it will be long before Frontier opens up, especially with the wind and shot of rain in the forecast. Once Frontier opens up, Vidas will be the next landing just east of Clementson and then Timbermill on the east side of Baudette followed by Wheeler’s Point. It is opening up quickly this year!
Talking with a few anglers yesterday they said the big sturgeon are biting and they caught some walleyes too. Right now sturgeon and walleye can be caught and released. The pike limit is 3 only 1 over 40″, all pike between 30″ and 40″ must be released. Walleye catch and release season is open through April 14. Sturgeon catch and release runs through April 23. “Keep 1″ season (45″-50″ inclusive or over 75”) runs April 24-May 7 followed by one more week of catch and release May 8-15 before closing for 6 weeks. Pike season never closes. A jig and a minnow work well for walleye this time of year, Here is a quick little video on how to set up for sturgeon fishing https://lakeofthewoodsmn.com/sturgeon-fishing/ and for spring pike dead baits, spinnerbait, spoon or crankbait are all going to be good options to start with.
Spring is in the air. The rainy river is opening up!
Ice is disappearing. We have spotted open water about 2 miles west of Birchdale. There is still some shore ice at Nelson Landing in Birchdale but I am sure the county will be out to clear the landing soon. Looks like the warm temps are going to continue. If the wind and rain hit us like the forecast is staying the ice should get chewed up quickly. Stay tuned for more updates.